Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Different gene-expression predictors of breast cancer agree

11.08.2006
Breast cancer researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a number of activity patterns in the genes of individual tumors that make them biologically different from others. These findings could provide valuable clinical information such as how likely the tumors are to be invasive, how well they might respond to different treatments and how likely they are to recur or spread.

Currently, doctors treating patients with breast cancer make treatment decisions and predictions based largely on the location and size of the tumor and if the cancer has spread, or metastasized, to lymph nodes and distant sites of the body.

But not all patients who are similar in terms of these clinical indicators get the same benefits from treatment.

These new findings could remedy that situation. Such differences in gene activity may be used as biomarkers to identify which treatments can be individually matched.

Over the past five years, gene expression profiles have been identified that appear to be predictive for cancer patients, especially for breast cancer patients. But these tests show very little overlap in their gene lists, and thus it is not known just how distinct these different assays might be.

According to Dr. Charles M. Perou, assistant professor of genetics and pathology at the UNC School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, some of the predictive assays are available commercially and others are under study in clinical trials in which treatment decisions, including whether or not to use chemotherapy, are being made based on them.

"An important and unanswered question, however, is whether these assays actually disagree or agree concerning outcome predictions for the individual patient," Perou said. "I think this is a very important point because if they disagree then it becomes difficult to determine which to use and when, and which are more robust and helpful."

To compare the individual predictions made by these different genomic tests, Perou and his colleagues at UNC and at The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, studied the concordance of five different predictors that were all applied to a single data set of 295 tumor samples for which patient survival data was available – relapse-free survival and overall survival.

Writing in the Aug. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers note that four predictors showed "significant agreement" in their outcome predictions on individual breast cancer patients, despite having little gene overlap. Of the three predictors showing the greatest concordance, two were the main assays that are commercially available and being used to guide clinical trials.

"If one assay said this patient was going to do poorly, then so did the other two," Perou said, noting that although the two commercial assays overlapped each other only by one gene, they were in 80 percent agreement with each other.

"This is good news for breast cancer patients. It means that different groups have independently arrived at tests which agree with each other and that they all do add information not provided by existing clinical tests," Perou said.

For example, several of the predictors in this study appear to predict the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence in various populations of women with node-negative disease.

Such information would be useful for identifying women who are unlikely to experience recurrence and, thus, potentially unlikely to benefit from chemotherapy.

"We find our results encouraging and interpret them to mean that although different gene sets are being used, they are each tracking a common set of biological characteristics that are present across different breast cancers and are making similar outcome predictions," Perou said.

L. H. Lang | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.unc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>