A new study by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) has found evidence that supports gender-related differences in the development and survival of metastatic colon cancer.
The study, which will be published in the April 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research, found that specific gene variants linked to the development of colon cancer resulted in opposite survival outcomes for men and women.
Germline variations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) DNA -- a gene widely expressed in colonic tissue -- has been linked with poor prognosis in colon cancer, says Oliver Press, an M.D. student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and lead author of the study. However, when researchers looked at EGFR as a prognostic factor, they found that it had opposite implications for men and women.
"We expected to find that high expression would correlate with a poor prognosis and faster growth of the cancer," says Press. "What we found was that men followed the expected trend, while women's response was the opposite."
Researchers analyzed 318 patients -- 177 men and 141 women -- with metastatic colon cancer treated at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and the LAC+USC Medical Center between 1992 and 2003. All the patients were exposed to similar chemotherapy treatments. When genomic DNA samples were analyzed, researchers found that women who had specific gene variants linked with high expression of EGFR had higher overall survival rates, while men with the same variants had lower survival.
"This is the first report to show that the prognostic value of EGFR depends on gender," says Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine and the principal investigator on the study. "This may suggest that, in the future, molecular markers should be evaluated differently in women and men and that treatment decisions may depend on gender and not only on molecular or clinical findings."
Previous research has shown a protective effect of female hormones in colon cancer survival, Press notes. The findings of the study indicate that hormone receptors are important to signal pathways related to the survival of patients.
The study is an important jumping off point to further research into how men and women differ in response to specific treatments, he says.
"Research will need to be done to determine whether women and men respond differently to certain cancer therapies," Press says. "Down the road we may see targeted chemotherapy that is tailored to get the best response from male and female patients."
Meghan Lewit | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy