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Fascin-1 has a promising role as a biomarker in urologic cancers.

Metastasis is the leading cause of poor prognosis in urologic cancers. Early diagnosis and effective treatments for metastatic cancer would improve the survival rate. Fascin-1 is an actin-binding protein involved in cell division, migration, and intercellular interactions. There is frequent upregulation of fascin-1 in metastatic cancer. A study published in the journal Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment reviewed the potential role of fascin-1 as a prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in urologic cancers.

Overexpression of Fascin-1 in Bladder Cancer is a Prognostic Marker

There is overexpression of fascin-1 in bladder cancer (BLCA). Studies show a positive correlation (P<0.001) between fascin-1 expression and pathological cancer stage. Downregulation of fascin-1 reduces cell migration and invasion and inhibits cancer cell growth. Fascin-1 expression was significantly correlated with a poor prognosis of BLCA in a multivariate analysis. Fascin-1 has a high expression frequency, intensity, sensitivity, and specificity and can predict invasiveness in biopsies. Thus, it can be used as a BLCA prognostic marker. Studies show that the fascin-1 inhibitor NP-G2-044 reduces the migration of bladder cancer cells. NP-G2-044 alone and in combination with cisplatin has shown prolongation of lifespan in animal models. Therefore, fascin-1 inhibitors should be further explored for bladder cancer treatment.

Fascin-1 Is Unlikely to Be a Prostate Cancer Biomarker

Limited and hormone-refractory prostate cancers show significant fascin-1 upregulation. Fascin-1 overexpression has been linked to high Gleason score, bone metastasis, and an increased recurrence rate after radical prostatectomy. Studies in mice show that downregulating fascin-1 significantly inhibits tumor development and lymph node metastasis. However, differences in fascin-1 levels between individuals with and without prostate cancer were found to be statistically insignificant. There was no statistical difference between fascin-1 expression in high Gleason scores and lymph node metastasis. Prostate cancer markers superior to fascin-1 are available. Thus, fascin-1 is unlikely to be used as a new biomarker.

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Fascin-1, a New Biomarker for Renal Cell Carcinoma

Fascin-1 is highly expressed in RCC. Fascin-1 overexpression has been significantly associated with nuclear grading, TNM stage, and disease-free survival in RCC. Follow-ups of patients with fascin-1 overexpression show a statistically significant decrease in overall and five-year metastasis-free survival. Thus, fascin-1 shows excellent potential as a new biomarker for RCC prediction and treatment.

Fascin-1, a Reliable Prognostic Marker for Adrenocortical Carcinoma

The first ACC proteomic study identified fascin-1 as a potential cancer marker. Another study found a significant association between fascin-1 expression and disease-free and overall survival. There is a substantial correlation between SF-1 (an ACC marker for tumor aggressiveness) and fascin-1 transcript levels. Overall, fascin-1 is a reliable prognostic marker for ACC and a potential therapeutic target for interventions in cancer spread and metastasis.  


Zhang, N., Bian, Q., Gao, Y., Wang, Q., Shi, Y., Li, X., Ma, X., Chen, H., Zhao, Z., & Yu, H. (2023). The Role of Fascin-1 in Human Urologic Cancers: A Promising Biomarker or Therapeutic Target? Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment, 22, 153303382311757. https://doi.org/10.1177/15330338231175733