"We found that almost 75 percent of the patients' cancers have mutations that can be targeted with existing drugs -- drugs that are available commercially or for clinical trials," says one of the lead investigators, Ramaswamy Govindan, MD, an oncologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and co-chair of the lung cancer group of The Cancer Genome Atlas.
The research appears online Sept. 9 in Nature.
The Cancer Genome Atlas project combines efforts of the nation's leading genetic sequencing centers, including The Genome Institute at Washington University, to describe the genetics of common tumors with the goal of improving prevention, detection and treatment. The Cancer Genome Atlas is supported by the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute, both parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The other lung cancer co-chairs are the study's senior author Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD, of the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and Stephen Baylin, MD, of Johns Hopkins University.
The study examined the tumors and normal tissue of 178 patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma. The investigators found recurring mutations common to many patients in 18 genes. And almost all of the tumors showed mutations in a gene called TP53, known for its role in repairing damaged DNA.
Interestingly, the researchers noted that lung squamous cell carcinoma shares many mutations with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, supporting the emerging body of evidence that cancers may be more appropriately classified by their genetics rather than the primary organ they affect.
"We clearly see mutations in lung cancer that we see in other human cancers," says Richard K. Wilson, PhD, director of The Genome Institute at Washington University. "This reinforces something that we've been seeing in a lot of our cancer genomics work. It's really less about what type of tissue the tumor arises in – lung, breast, skin, prostate – and more about what genes and pathways are affected."
Current treatment for squamous cell lung cancers includes chemotherapy and radiation, but there are no drugs specifically designed to target this particular type of lung cancer. Squamous cell lung cancer is linked to smoking and responsible for 30 percent of all lung cancer cases.
"With this analysis, we are just starting to understand the molecular biology of lung squamous cell carcinoma," says Govindan, who treats patients at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. "And now we have identified potential targets for therapies to study in future clinical trials."
The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network. Comprehensive genomic characterization of squamous cell lung cancers. Nature. Sept. 9, 2012
Washington University School of Medicine's 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.
Julia Evangelou Strait | EurekAlert!
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy