Cancer Diagnostics

Tumour expression of Leptin associated with chemotherapy resistance and therapy

Tumour expression of leptin associated with chemotherapy resistance and therapyOesophageal cancer affects approximately 8,300 people per year. In 2010 Oesophageal cancer was the 9th most common cancer in the UK and accounted for 3% of all new cases. (1). Oesophageal cancer is most prevalent in the elderly, and with the UK having an increasing older population it is a disease state that needs to be addressed.

Cytotoxic chemotherapy is used as a treatment for this type of cancer; however the cancer often becomes resistant to chemotherapy, rendering the treatment ineffective and toxic to patients. This lead a team of researchers attempting to identify identifying a biomarker that may act to predict which patients would benefit from chemotherapy and therefore adapt treatment methods accordingly.

154 patients and 520 genes were evaluated to identify radiological responding and non-responding patients. Findings were published in the British Journal of Cancer (2) which suggested that patients with lower Leptin levels were more likely to benefit from chemotherapy. It was also noted that although patients with higher Leptin levels were less likely to respond well to chemotherapy, their tumours were generally less aggressive so had a better chance at survival.

Being able to determine who will benefit from chemotherapy and who will not is beneficial as it means that patients who will be less likely to respond well to chemotherapy can be treated by alternative methods that may prove to be more effective.

This research has been praised by Cancer Research UK’s head information nurse Martin Ledwick, where he said, “We know that chemotherapy does not help all oesophageal cancer patients so any research that helps us understand who to target with other types of therapy will be a big help to doctors.”

If you are researching the effects that Leptin levels have on the body, Randox offers a high quality Metabolic Syndrome Array I which allows for the simultaneous measurement Leptin along with 8 other biomarkers. Alternatively custom arrays can be created, allowing researchers to custom choose from over 300 biomarkers. For more information, visit  or email



1. Cancer Research UK
2. British Journal of Cancer
3.    Martin Ledwick- Cancer Research UK

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