Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare have discovered a biomarker that could help in the treatment of patients with an aggressive type of lung cancer.
Using a particular biomarker, researchers might better predict which patients with small cell lung cancer are resistant to existing drug therapies, and which ones could benefit from new therapies tailored to their specific needs, according to a scientific paper published today in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
"There is a need for predictive biomarkers that can aid investigators in designing future clinical trials, to help identify treatments that might be effective for these patients who most likely will be resistance to existing drug therapies, " said Dr. Glen J. Weiss, the paper's senior author and Director of Thoracic Oncology at TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare. TCRS is a partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare that helps bring new therapies quickly to patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale.
Nearly 220,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with lung cancer, which is by far the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., annually killing nearly 160,000 patients.
Of all lung cancer patients, an estimated 33,000 are diagnosed with SCLC. This is a particularly aggressive disease that usually goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage and treatment options are limited. More than 95 percent of SCLC patients eventually die from the disease.
Researchers from TGen, VARI and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare focused on identifying microRNAs, which are single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate how genes and proteins control cellular development. Because microRNAs are so resilient, they are relatively easy to detect in tumor tissue and blood, which is often a limitation for other biomarkers.
"VARI provided bioinformatics support assembling all the different types of data into a cohesive data set for analysis to help identify the miRNA that play a role in the survival of the lung cancer patients," said Dr. David Cherba, a VARI Bioinformatics Scientist.
Researchers profiled 34 tumor samples from patients with a median age of 69. They analyzed each tumor's microRNAs, searching for those that might be associated with cancer survival.
They identified three microRNAs associated with SCLC. But one in particular, identified as miR-92-2*, was "significantly" linked to survival, the paper said.
This microRNA could be used in two significant ways:
As a predictive biomarker in the development of new treatments for those SCLC tumors that prove to be de novo chemoresistant — possessing properties that render them inherently resistant to existing drug therapies.
As prognostic biomarkers in the screening of SCLC patients and the design of clinical trials better tailored to their prognosis.
"Our results demonstrate that higher tumor miR-92a-2* levels are associated with chemoresistance and with decreased survival in SCLC patients," said the paper titled MicroRNA 92a-2*, a Biomarker Predictive for Chemoresistance and Prognostic for Survival in Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients.
This was one of the first scientific papers published since the completion of the TGen-VARI alliance and affiliation agreement, announced in February.
"The collaboration that occurred on this project highlights the synergies created by the VARI-TGen alliance," said Dr. Craig Webb, a VARI Senior Scientific Investigator.
Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director for TGen and VARI, said the new discoveries could have profound implications for the future of medicine.
"This advanced technology is exciting because of how these microRNA biomarkers could lead to improvements for patients. Hopefully, this will translate to new treatments and improved survival," Dr. Trent said.
The next step in this research should be to attain further validation by analyzing additional independent samples, the paper concludes.
This study was funded by the American Cancer Society, a Sylvia Chase Pilot Grant and the IBIS Foundation of Arizona.
About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare offers diagnosis, treatment, research, prevention and support in its facilities at the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, attracting patients from across Arizona and the U.S. Groundbreaking cancer research is conducted through its Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute in collaboration with TGen and leading universities. Scottsdale Healthcare is the not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. For additional information, please visit www.shc.org.Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak | EurekAlert!
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy