Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Profiling of cancer genes may lead to better and earlier detection

27.12.2006
A research team at UT Southwestern Medical Center has for the first time identified several genes whose expression is lost in four of the most common solid human cancers – lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer.

The findings, which researchers say could form the basis for a new early detection screen for certain cancers, are published today in the online journal Public Library of Science Medicine.

The expression of genes that inhibit cancer development, so-called tumor suppressor genes, is often lost in tumor cells. This can occur through a mutation in the gene's DNA sequence or through deletion of the gene. Loss of tumor suppression function also can occur in a process called methylation, where a chemical called a methyl group is attached to a DNA region near the gene and prevents it from being activated, essentially "silencing" the gene.

"These results show the power of studying tumors on a genome-wide basis, looking at many genes at the same time," said Dr. John Minna, the study's senior author and director of the W.A. "Tex" and Deborah Moncrief Jr. Center for Cancer Genetics and the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research at UT Southwestern.

... more about:
»Detection »Expression »Shames »breast »methylation

In an effort to identify new tumor-suppressor genes that might be important to lung and breast cancer development, the UT Southwestern team examined which genes are active in those kinds of tumors and compared them to gene expression profiles from normal lung epithelial cells. The researchers then examined the gene expression profiles of these various cell types before and after treatment with a drug that inhibits methylation.

The researchers identified approximately 130 genes that may be methylated and thus silenced in lung, breast, prostate and colon cancers. They analyzed 45 of these new genes in both normal and cancerous tissues from the same patients and found that many of the genes were methylated specifically in the tumor samples.

"We ended up with a large number of genes that are involved in the development of lung cancer that, despite years of work in the field, I had never connected to lung cancer before," said Dr. Minna.

Patient samples from UT Southwestern's new Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center tissue repository and previous results from study author Dr. David Euhus allowed the research team to quickly extend its findings to breast, prostate and colon cancer. A Hamon Center postdoctoral researcher and lead study author Dr. David Shames was instrumental in identifying the genes, Dr. Minna said.

"What would have normally taken us several years, David Shames was able to determine in less than a month," Dr. Minna said. "The new genes Dr. Shames discovered are now forming the basis for a new early detection screen that could be mounted against the most common human cancers."

The genes the researchers found to be methylated specifically in the tumor samples might control the conversion of normal cells into cancer cells, Dr. Minna said, but this possibility needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis.

Although it is known that gene expression patterns in tumors vary greatly from tissue to tissue, the researchers hope that the similarities of the methylation patterns found in this study might lead to a better approach to detect cancer early and help identify new promising therapeutic targets to treat some of the most prevalent cancers.

"The findings from our study suggest that it may be possible to develop a methylation profiling platform that could be used to screen patients for common solid tumors, while at the same time identify what type of tumor the patient may have," Dr. Shames said.

The study also illustrates that some of the basic processes that underlie the development of breast and lung cancer are identical, even though the chemicals that initiate those processes – estrogen and tobacco carcinogens, for example – may be different, said Dr. Euhus, associate professor of surgical oncology.

"I was also struck that some of these processes could be detected in benign breast cells from high-risk women, more so than in lower-risk women," said Dr. Euhus, co-director of the Mary L. Brown Breast Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment Program. "Methylation is potentially a reversible change and there may be some interventions that would effectively reduce the risk of several types of cancer simultaneously."

Toni Heinzl | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

Further reports about: Detection Expression Shames breast methylation

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

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

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>