Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein profile predicts prognosis for lung cancer

08.08.2003


In the future, many cancer scientists and physicians believe, a "molecular fingerprint" of an individual´s cancer may be used to diagnose that patient´s disease and tailor therapy.



Researchers at Vanderbilt have moved a step closer to that scenario with the identification of a distinct pattern of expression of 15 proteins in lung cancers that can predict a poor prognosis or a good prognosis. All patients in the poor prognosis group had died one year after diagnosis, while all patients in the good prognosis group were still alive. Median survival, the point at which half the patients were still alive, was six months for the poor prognosis group, compared to 33 months for the good prognosis group. "If this pattern is confirmed in larger studies, its prognostic power exceeds that of virtually any previously published standard molecular marker," the authors write in the August 9 issue of The Lancet.

The scientists also demonstrate that protein profiles obtained from a tiny amount of tumor tissue – only 1 millimeter in diameter and only 1/1000 of a millimeter in thickness - can be used to predict risk that the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.


"Involvement of lymph nodes is one of the most important factors in determining treatment strategies, so the clinical implications of these data could be significant," said Dr. David P. Carbone, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology. "Being able to use molecular markers to divide patients into high- or low-risk groups would also be very useful in determining treatment strategy."

Such a predictor could help patients and families, with their physicians, decide the most appropriate action, which could range from more aggressive therapy at the outset to avoiding therapies that are more likely to hurt quality of life for the patient than to extend that life.

The research involved investigators from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; Vanderbilt School of Medicine´s departments of Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, and Pathology; and Vanderbilt´s Mass Spectrometry Research Center. The project is part of Vanderbilt´s Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in lung cancer, a major initiative funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Now that the human genome has been defined, proteomics – the study of the proteins that carry out the work of the cells at the instruction of the genes – is widely considered the next frontier in biomedical research. Vanderbilt has one of the strongest programs in the world in proteomics research, with the sophisticated equipment, informatics power and statistical expertise required to comprehensively analyze the activity of thousands of proteins at once.

The investigators used mass spectrometry and customized software to analyze samples from 79 lung tumors and 14 normal lung tissue. The investigators were able, based on differences in patterns of protein expression, to distinguish with 100 percent accuracy:

  • Lung tumor from normal lung;

  • Primary non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from normal lung;

  • Primary NSCLC from cancer that had spread to the lungs from other organs; and

  • Adenocarcinomas from squamous cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas from large cell carcinomas.

Predictions based on protein profiles were confirmed by pathological evaluation under a microscope. In one case, a large cell carcinoma may have been misclassified based on protein patterns as an adenocarcinoma, but the investigators report that this tumor may actually be an adenocarcinoma that is too poorly differentiated to identify as such under the microscope.

The investigators note that using protein profiles to make distinctions that are already apparent under the microscope offers little use in clinical care, although the approach is potentially useful in identifying novel therapeutic targets. However, the ability to use protein profiles to predict node involvement or to identify patients as high- or low-risk could have great implications for treatment strategies, Carbone said.

"Because such small tissue samples are needed, it would be of great interest to analyze protein expression patterns of tissue samples from needle aspirations or from different cell subtypes within the lung," Carbone said. "It also would be interesting to look for patterns associated with response to specific therapies, with smoking exposure, or with preneoplasia and the progression to cancer.

"If these data are confirmed using larger numbers of patients, this technology could have significant implications for the clinical management of non-small cell lung cancer."

Contact: Cynthia Floyd Manley, cynthia.manley@vanderbilt.edu

Cynthia Floyd Manley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/reporter

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>