Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Mechanisms of acquired chemoresistance in ovarian cancer identified

The presence of multiple ovarian cancer genomes in an individual patient and the absence or downregulation of the gene LRP1B are associated with the development of chemoresistance in women with the high-grade serous cancer subtype of ovarian cancer whose disease recurs after primary treatment. These study results are published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

David Bowtell, Ph.D., head of the Cancer Genomics and Genetic Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues generated these data in one of the first studies to investigate using patient tumor samples as the mechanisms responsible for the emergence of chemotherapy resistance in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

"High-grade serous cancers account for about two-thirds of deaths from epithelial invasive ovarian cancer," Bowtell said. "We were interested in identifying the molecular changes that occurred in a tumor between the time when a woman first presented for surgery and chemotherapy, and the time when the tumor recurred and eventually became resistant to chemotherapy."

To examine this, the researchers analyzed metastatic lesions from individual patients and 22 paired pretreatment and post-treatment tumor samples for spatial and temporal genomic variation.

"Spatial variation is a measure of genomic heterogeneity in different deposits of tumor present at primary surgery – variation that the tumor could draw on to evolve over time, especially in the face of chemotherapy," Bowtell explained. "Temporal variation gives us an indication of how much the tumor changes over time, and after one or more lines of chemotherapy."

The researchers compared the level of genomic change among women who were initially chemosensitive and those who were resistant to primary chemotherapy. Tumors that were initially sensitive to chemotherapy but later became resistant evolved further than those tumors that were resistant from the outset. "We were surprised by the extent of variation that was present among the tumor deposits collected at surgery, and by how far the tumors could evolve during therapy," Bowtell said. "The existence of multiple cancer genomes in an individual patient could provide many opportunities for the cancer to circumvent chemotherapy and may help explain why it has been so difficult to make progress with this disease," he said.

The most frequently occurring genomic change found was a deletion and/or downregulation of LRP1B, which encodes a member of a family of proteins that transport lipids into cells. To validate their findings further, the researchers examined the effect of engineering gain or loss of LRP1B in ovarian cancer cell lines. Loss of LRP1B contributed to the emergence of resistance to liposomal doxorubicin, a type of chemotherapy, in women exposed to the drug during their treatment.

"Many women with high-grade serous ovarian cancer experience an excellent response to initial chemotherapy, but unfortunately the disease often returns and becomes resistant to treatment. Currently, we have few tools to predict response to chemotherapy in the relapse setting. LRP1B adds to a handful of other mechanisms so far identified," Bowtell said. "If we can comprehensively map the mechanisms that confer resistance, we may be able to predict whether some women are likely to respond to a certain drug or not, and find ways of reversing resistance."

The study forms part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). Bowtell said that international collaboration is needed to systematically map the emergence of chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer and other solid cancers, given that it is difficult to obtain paired pre- and post-treatment samples. He believes that the collection of biopsy tissue in the relapse setting will increasingly be seen as essential for predicting response in the clinic and understanding why treatment failure occurs.

The study was funded by the Association for International Cancer Research.

Follow the AACR on Twitter: @aacr #aacr

Follow the AACR on Facebook:

About the AACR

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR's membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 17,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.

For more information about the AACR, visit

Jeremy Moore | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>