Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Use DNA Sequencing to Attack Lung Cancer

18.12.2009
Aided by next-generation DNA sequencing technology, an international team of researchers has gained insights into how more than 60 carcinogens associated with cigarette smoke bind to and chemically modify human DNA, ultimately leading to cancer-causing genetic mutations.

In a new study available online and in a future issue of the journal Nature, lung-cancer experts in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center worked with scientists from the Cancer Genome Project in the United Kingdom to determine the entire genetic sequence of cancer cells from a patient with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). They then compared those results with normal DNA isolated from the same patient.

Using new DNA sequencing technology called “massively parallel sequencing,” the researchers searched the DNA sequences for differences between tumor and normal cells. They found more than 23,000 mutations that the tumor cells had acquired and also discovered a new gene involved in lung cancer named CHD7.

The number of mutations from the study suggests that a person may develop one mutation for every 15 cigarettes smoked, said Dr. John Minna, director of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research at UT Southwestern and one of the authors of the new study.

The researchers said the findings illustrate the power of advanced technology to provide important new information about human cancer, including the effect of cancer-causing chemicals on the body and the identification of potential new therapeutic targets.

“Cancer is driven by acquired mutations in genes, and we are at a point where it soon will be possible to actually know every mutation in the tumors of each of our patients,” Dr. Minna said.

“The key will be to use this information to find new ways to help prevent cancers, diagnose them earlier and to select treatments that might be specific for each patient’s tumor. While these findings are the first step, they have lighted our path to clearly point us in the right direction. In addition, they provide the first detailed analysis of a human cancer – lung cancer – that is closely linked to smoking.”

Dr. Minna and Dr. Adi Gazdar, professor of pathology in the Hamon Center at UT Southwestern, provided the SCLC cells and normal cells for the research. Dr. Minna, who also directs the W.A. “Tex” and Deborah Moncrief Jr. Center for Cancer Genetics, and Dr. Gazdar have developed one of the most extensive collections of lung-cancer cell lines, which are used by researchers worldwide in studies of the disease. The SCLC and normal cells used in the study are designated NCI-H209 and NCI-BL209, respectively, and were established from a patient Drs. Minna and Gazdar treated 30 years ago.

When the researchers analyzed the 23,000 mutations, they found distinctive patterns associated with the cocktail of carcinogens present in cigarette smoke. The DNA sequence of the cancer cells also revealed that the cells had attempted to repair their smoke-damaged DNA using two mechanisms, but the cells were only partially successful.

Cigarette smoke deposits hundreds of chemicals into the airways and lungs. The longer one smokes and the more cigarettes smoked each day, the higher the risk of developing lung cancer and mutations.

“By applying the same approach to other cancers not associated with cigarette smoking, including the very large group of people who develop lung cancer but have never smoked, it may be possible to discern which carcinogens play a role in those other cancers as well,” Dr. Gazdar said.

Dr. Minna added that the research methods used to analyze the cancer cells represented a technological tour de force.

“The data demonstrate the power of whole-genome sequencing to untangle the complex mutational signatures found in cancers induced by cigarette smoke,” Dr. Minna said. “In addition, the protein product of the CHD7 gene now becomes a new marker for early diagnosis and also for potentially targeted therapy.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, developing in more than a million patients annually. People who smoke are 10 to 20 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. SCLC represents 15 percent of these cases and is associated with early metastasis, relapse after initial response to chemotherapy and less than a two-year survival rate.

The study was supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust, the Human Frontiers Science Program and the National Cancer Institute.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/cancercenter to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in cancer.

Connie Piloto | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/findfac/professional/0,2356,14991,00.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

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

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>