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Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2001 Jun;29(3):161-3.

Lacryglobin in human tears, a potential marker for cancer.

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Cooperative Research Centre for Eye Research and Technology, School of Optometry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Lacrygobin has been identified in human tears. This protein has high sequence homology to the mammaglobins, proteins upregulated in breast cancer and in breast cancer metastasis. In order to investigate the utility of tear screening for cancer tear samples were collected from patients with different types of cancer and compared to controls. Tear samples were taken from five controls and eight breast, six lung, five colon, one prostate and three ovary cancer patients. Tears were analysed using 2-D gel electrophoresis (n = 25) and 1-D electrophoresis (n = 3). Lacryglobin was present in the following percentage of patients: breast cancer (88%), lung (83%), colon (100%), ovary (33%), prostate (100%) and controls (60%). Two control patients with lacryglobin had a family history of breast and prostate cancer. Lacryglobin was detected in some but not all tear samples and further studies are warranted to investigate its potential as a marker for cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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