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!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences