Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel gene mutations associated with bile duct cancer

19.01.2012
Mass. General Hospital Cancer Center findings could lead to targeted treatment for deadly tumor

Investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center have identified a new genetic signature associated with bile duct cancer, a usually deadly tumor for which effective treatment currently is limited.

Their report, which has been published online in The Oncologist, finds that growth-enhancing mutations in two related genes may account for nearly a quarter of bile duct tumors arising within the liver, presenting the possibility that drugs targeting this mutation could represent a new strategy to control tumor growth.

"Patients with bile duct cancer have a generally poor prognosis. Most of them are diagnosed with advanced or metastatic disease, so surgical resection is not feasible," says co-senior author Andrew Zhu, MD, PhD, director of Liver Cancer Research at the MGH Cancer Center. "Identifying this new and relatively common mutation in intrahepatic bile duct cancer may have significant implications for the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of patients whose tumors harbor this mutation."

Cancers of the gallbladder and bile duct are diagnosed in 12,000 patients in the U.S. each year, the authors note; but only 10 percent are discovered early enough to allow successful surgical treatment. Chemotherapy is modestly effective, leading to an average survival time of less than one year.

The MGH Translational Research Laboratory was jointly established by the MGH Department of Pathology and the MGH Cancer Center to screen patient tumor samples for mutations known to drive tumor growth, identifying those that may be treatable with targeted therapies. As part of this project, the MGH team screened samples from 287 patients with gastrointestinal tumors for 130 known cancer-associated mutations and were surprised to find that 3 out of 12 biliary tract cancer tumors had mutations in a gene called IDH1. To confirm this finding, they ran a more detailed screen in additional samples, for a total of 62 bile duct tumors and 25 gallbladder tumors. Mutations in IDH1 were found in 13 percent of all bile duct tumors and in 23 percent of those located within the liver itself. Less commonly, mutations were identified in a similar gene IDH2.

"Mutations in these genes are rare examples of abnormalities that profoundly affect the normal function of a metabolic enzyme," says lead author Darrell Borger, PhD, co-director of the Translational Research Laboratory. "Our co-investigators previously found that, in other types of cancer, mutations in these genes cause overproduction and dramatic accumulation of the metabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate. How this causes tumor development is being actively investigated, and it is now emerging that 2-hydroxyglutarate can disrupt the activity of a family of proteins important in signal transduction and regulation of gene expression."

Although no approved drugs are currently available that target IDH mutations, extensive efforts are underway to develop such drugs, Zhu notes. "Identifying these mutations in bile duct cancer raises many questions, including whether mutational status can distinguish various types of bile duct tumors and help predict prognosis. Also of interest is determining whether high blood levels of 2-hydroxyglutarate could serve as a biomarker for IDH1/2 status, which could provide a minimally invasive way to monitor the effects of new IDH inhibitors that may become available," he says. Zhu is an associate professor, and Borger an instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

John Iafrate, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Integrated Diagnostics in MGH Pathology, is corresponding and co-senior author of the Oncologist paper. Additional co-authors are Kenneth Tanabe, MD, Kenneth Fan, Hector Lopez, Marek Ancukiewicz, PhD, Hannah Liebman, Eunice Kwak, MD, PhD, Jeffrey Clark, MD, David Ryan, MD, Vikram Deshpande, MBBS, Dora Dias-Santagata, PhD, and Leif Ellisen, MD, PhD, all of the MGH Cancer Center; Valeria Fantin, PhD, Kimberly Straley and David Schenkein, MD, Agios Pharmaceuticals; and Aram Hezel, MD, University of Rochester.

Massachusetts General Hospital (www.massgeneral.org), founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $750 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.

Katie Marquedant | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.massgeneral.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells
28.07.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Programming cells with computer-like logic
27.07.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Abrupt motion sharpens x-ray pulses

Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.

A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome

28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heavy metals in water meet their match

28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells

28.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>