Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Gene expression profile helps predict chemotherapy response in ovarian cancer patients


A newly identified gene expression profile could help predict how patients with advanced ovarian cancer will respond to chemotherapy treatment. Described in a study in the November 1, 2005 issue of The Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), the new findings further establish an important role for microarray gene profiling as a predictor of clinical outcome in ovarian cancer, and could eventually provide clinicians with insights into the mechanisms of drug resistance.

"In many patients with advanced ovarian cancer, post-operative treatment with first-line chemotherapy will result in an excellent clinical response," says senior author Stephen A. Cannistra, MD, director of gynecologic oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

"However," he adds, "due to the lingering presence of chemotherapy-resistant cancer cells, most patients will unfortunately experience a relapse. The goal of our current research is to help determine which patients will relapse and which will not, and to better understand the reasons for this."

Cannistra’s group has been working to develop a genetic profile of ovarian cancer that will enable clinicians to more accurately determine a patient’s prognosis. As a first step in this process, he and his colleagues last year identified a gene expression profile known as the Ovarian Cancer Prognostic Profile (OCPP), which is predictive of survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer. (These study results appear in the December 2004 issue of the JCO.)

Their work makes use of a DNA technology known as microarray analysis, in which genes expressed by cancer cells are labeled and applied to a glass slide containing embedded sequences of thousands of known human genes. The genes that are present in the tumor cell bind to their counterpart sequences on the slide and can then be identified through computer analysis.

In this new study, the authors conducted microarray testing on samples from 60 ovarian cancer patients treated at BIDMC and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to determine if tumor tissue obtained at a patient’s initial diagnosis expressed a gene profile predictive of findings at second-look surgery. (Second-look surgery is currently the most sensitive investigational approach for detecting residual disease in patients with advanced ovarian cancer who have achieved a complete clinical remission following chemotherapy, explains Cannistra.)

The expression of 93 genes, collectively referred to as the Chemotherapy Response Profile (CRP), was found to predict which patients would experience a complete response to chemotherapy, as defined by the absence of disease at the time of second-look surgery. The CRP also confirmed the importance of genes such as BAX in this process, which regulate the cell’s response to chemotherapy agents such as paclitaxel.

The authors then went on to compare the results of the CRP and the OCPP. "We found that together these two gene profiles [CRP and OCPP] are a more powerful predictor of a patient’s prognosis than either profile separately," says Cannistra. "This represents the first time that two profiles have been combined to yield such a powerful result in this disease."

One of the most difficult types of cancer to treat, advanced ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 26,000 new cases and 16,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

"Being able to identify the expression pattern of these genes from the original tumor sample [i.e. whether genes were ’turned on’ or ’turned off’] provides us with valuable information about a patient’s prognosis as this type of information cannot always be obtained from standard clinical features, such as tumor grade or residual disease status," notes Cannistra. "And with the identification of each new gene expression profile, we come one step closer to eventually being able to develop treatments tailored to individual ovarian cancer patients."

Coauthors of the study include BIDMC investigators Dimitrios Spentzos, MD, Douglas Levine, MD, Towia A. Libermann, PhD, Shakirahimed Kolia and Hasan Out and Jeff Boyd, PhD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Bonnie Prescott | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Don't Give the Slightest Chance to Toxic Elements in Medicinal Products
23.03.2018 | Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>