The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has uncovered possible genetic origins of breast cancer that spreads to the brain, according to a first-of-its-kind study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
The compendium of genetic targets uncovered by TGen now can be used to identify potential new methods of diagnosis and new drug therapies for the estimated 45,000 patients in the U.S. each year whose cancer spreads from the breast to the brain.
The 3-year study is significant since these patients currently have few treatments options - surgery and radiation - and they usually are ineligible for clinical drug trials. Their prognosis is poor, with fewer than 2 percent surviving more than two years
"This is really a significant problem and a huge unmet need. We now want to dig deeper and uncover more specific genomic links and study new ways to treat these patients so we can improve outcomes," said Dr. Bodour Salhia, an Assistant Professor in TGen's Integrated Cancer Genomics Division and the study's lead and co-senior author.
After lung cancer, breast cancer is the second most common cancer that spreads to the brain. Chemotherapy generally has not been used to treat brain cancer, because of the blood-brain barrier that exists between the bloodstream and the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain. However, some small molecule drugs can cross this barrier and form the basis of targeted therapies.
The overall goal of the TGen study was to look at genomic and epigenomic events to understand the causes of breast cancer brain metastatic lesions, and identify potential new therapeutic targets.
The TGen team performed deep genomic profiling, integrating gene copy number, gene expression and DNA methylation datasets on a collection of 35 breast-brain metastases samples. The study, Integrated Genomic and Epigenomic Analysis of Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis, published Jan. 29, is the first of its kind to incorporate all of those avenues of inquiry in the study of this disease.
Some of the common genetic alterations identified in the study were gains and losses in chromosome 8, as well as cell proliferation and cell-cycle progression - key mechanisms of cancer caused by genetic alterations - linked to the genes AURKA, AURKB and FOXM1.
"This groundbreaking study sets the stage for more exacting research, using the latest genomic technologies and aimed at developing new therapies that could help the tens of thousand of patients who urgently need our help," said Dr. Nhan Tran, an Associate Professor of TGen's Cancer and Cell Biology Division and the study's other co-senior author.
This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Flinn Foundation, and C.A.R.E. (Cancer Awareness Through Research & Education).About TGen
Steve Yozwiak | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
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...
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...
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...
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)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Awards Funding
28.06.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy