Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene analysis might explain ethnic differences in sensitivity to chemotherapy in lung cancer

25.04.2007
Analysis of three genetic mechanisms that cause non-small cell lung cancer might explain why East Asians respond better than other ethnic groups to a certain type of chemotherapy, a team led by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers has found.

This type of analysis might become useful in tailoring cancer treatments to individual patients, the researchers said.

"Genetic differences may help explain why so many Asian women who never smoked develop lung cancer," said Dr. Adi Gazdar, professor of pathology at UT Southwestern and senior author of a study appearing online today in Public Library of Science Medicine.

The researchers focused on a protein called the epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, which lies on a cell’s surface and is involved in controlling many processes. Excessive amounts of EGFR are known to be involved in several types of cancer, including more than half of lung cancers. Several drugs that interfere with EGFR are used as chemotherapeutic agents.

Three inherited alterations, known as polymorphisms, in the gene that codes for EGFR can cause cells to make abnormally high levels of the protein, Dr. Gazdar said. One polymorphism shortens a portion of the gene, while two other abnormalities involve variations in the genetic "alphabet," or sequences of chemical building blocks that make up the gene.

Increased levels of EGFR also can be caused by spontaneous mutations in the gene, or by an effect in tumor cells that increases the number of copies of genes coding for EGFR.

In the current study, the researchers compared the genes of 250 healthy people of various ethnicities with 556 samples of benign and cancerous lung tumors. They found that the three inherited polymorphisms were less common in healthy people from Japan and Taiwan than in healthy people of European, African or Mexican descent.

This suggests that this population normally makes less EGFR protein than people from other ethnic groups, Dr. Gazdar said.

This was true whether the East Asians lived in Asia or in the United States, indicating that it was an intrinsic genetic trait and not one that depended on diet or lifestyle, Dr. Gazdar said.

East Asians who had developed lung cancer, however, were more likely than those of other ethnicities to have the polymorphism that involved shortening part of the gene, an alteration that causes the amount of EGFR to increase.

East Asians with lung cancer also tended to have several effects occur on a single chromosome: the polymorphism that involves shortening of the gene, a spontaneous mutation that increases EGFR levels, and increased copies of the gene caused by the tumors, he said.

"They’re all occurring together on a single chromosome, which results in a greatly increased amount of EGFR," he said. "The predicted end result would be a great increase in EGFR protein production in the affected cells, driving them toward cancer."

These findings might explain why East Asians are known to respond better than other ethnic groups to a type of chemotherapy that inhibits EGFR activity, Dr. Gazdar said.

"Cancer cells become addicted to EGFR," he said, so these cells are much more susceptible to the cancer-killing effect of EGFR inhibitors.

This type of analysis of cancer genes might be helpful for other types of cancer and other ethnic groups, Dr. Gazdar said, possibly explaining both the different manifestations of the disease seen among ethnic groups and leading the way to matching a specific treatment to the patient.

Aline McKenzie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html

Further reports about: EGFR Gazdar Polymorphism chemotherapy ethnic ethnic groups

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells
24.04.2018 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

Scientists create innovative new 'green' concrete using graphene

24.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

24.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>