Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover new genetic anomalies in lung cancer

22.12.2014

Number of fusions in a tumor linked to more aggressive cancer

Developing effective treatments for lung cancer has been challenging, in part because so many genetic mutations play a role in the disease.


This is Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D.

Credit: University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

By analyzing the DNA and RNA of lung cancers, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that patients whose tumors contained a large number of gene fusions had worse outcomes than patients with fewer gene fusions. Gene fusions are a type of genetic anomaly found in cancers that occurs when genes get rearranged and fuse together.

In addition, the researchers identified several new genetic anomalies that occur in lung cancer, including in patients with a history of smoking.

"Lung cancer is quite a complex disease with many causes. Our deep sequencing analysis found new gene fusions in lung cancers that were negative for the most commonly known fusions. These new anomalies could potentially be targets for developing new treatments," says study author Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology and S.P. Hicks Professor of Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The study looked at 753 lung cancer samples that represented both smokers and non-smokers. The first 153 samples came from the University of Michigan and were combined with 521 samples from a report published by The Cancer Genome Atlas.

The researchers found 6,348 unique fusions with an average of 13 fusions per tumor sample. Anomalies in two gene pathways were most prevalent: the Hippo pathway, which has previously been linked to some rare cancers, and NRG1, which has not previously been seen in cancer.

The study appears in Nature Communications.

Researchers know that three common gene fusions - involving ALK, RET and ROS - play a role in about 5 percent of lung cancers, but primarily in non-smokers. The new anomalies were found only in patients who did not have ALK, RET or ROS fusions.

"Our results indicate that in the more genomically complex smoking-related lung cancers, gene fusion events appear to be frequent," says study author David G. Beer, Ph.D., John and Carla Klein Professor of Thoracic Surgery and professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan Medical School and co-director of Cancer Genetics at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Drug companies are already investigating drugs that could target the Hippo pathway and NRG1. The research team suggests exploring these inhibitors as potential therapeutics in lung cancer.

In addition, the finding that the number of gene fusions was tied to prognosis suggests that a screen could be developed to help doctors determine how aggressive a patient's tumor is likely to be - and to tailor treatment accordingly.

The study identified many different gene fusions that comprise the landscape of lung cancer, with most occurring in only a small number of individual tumor samples. The Hippo pathway fusions were present in 3 percent of patients and NRG1 fusions in 4 percent. The researchers suggest expanding lung cancer subtypes based on these molecular characteristics.

"We've previously had success in targeting therapies against low-recurrence gene fusions. Large-scale genome analyses like this allow us to identify more of the key drivers of each patient's tumor so that we can match the most appropriate therapies," Chinnaiyan says.

Additional authors: Saravana M. Dhanasekaran, O. Alejandro Balbin, Guoan Chen, Ernest Nadal, Shanker Kalyana-Sundaram, Jincheng Pan, Brendan Veeneman, Xuhong Cao, Rohit Malik, Pankaj Vats, Rui Wang, Stephanie Huang, Jinjie Zhong, Xiaojun Jing, Matthew Iyer, Yi-Mi Wu, Paul W. Harms, Jules Lin, Rishindra Reddy, Christine Brennan, Nallasivam Palanisamy, Andrew C. Chang, Anna Truini, Mauro Truini, Dan R. Robinson

Funding: National Cancer Institute grants R01 CA154365, P30 CA46592, F31 CA165866, T32 CA140044; Dermatology Foundation; Spanish Society of Medical Oncology Fellowship; China Scholarship Council Award; National Science Foundation grant 0903629

Disclosure: None

Reference: Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/ncomms6893, Dec. 22, 2014

Resources:
U-M Cancer AnswerLine, 800-865-1125

U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, http://www.mcancer.org

Clinical trials at U-M, http://www.mcancer.org/clinicaltrials

mCancerTalk blog, http://uofmhealthblogs.org/cancer

Media Contact

Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220

@UMHealthSystem

http://www.med.umich.edu

Nicole Fawcett | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>