Gene expression signature associated with survival in advanced ovarian cancer

Feb 03, 2009

A new study published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine identifies molecular pathways associated with outcomes in ovarian cancer. Currently, outcomes following diagnosis of ovarian cancer are very poor, with up to 65-70% of women dying within five years of diagnosis.

Anne Crijns and her colleagues from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands aimed to find out whether the expression levels of particular genes were associated with overall survival in ovarian cancer. The researchers initially studied a series of tissue samples, obtained during surgery to remove cancerous tissue from 157 consecutive patients seen at the University Medical Center Groningen. Analysis of the samples identified 86 genes which correlated with overall survival in the women. The researchers were then able to confirm, for 57 of the 86 genes, that these were also correlated with survival in a second, entirely separate dataset. Specific genes, and pathways, were identified which provide specific targets around which researchers might be able to design potential therapies in future.

For example, Crijns and colleagues find high expression of a gene encoding a FK506 binding protein, FKBP7, is associated with poor prognosis. This protein can be targeted with existing drugs, the mTOR inhibitors. Another implication of the work discussed by the researchers is the use of this expression signature to identify women who are at greater risk of relapse, and thus potentially personalize treatment. However, as the authors acknowledge, such implications are still some way off. It would be important to carry out prospective studies in order to show that the signature performs effectively in a clinical setting.

The new study is discussed in an expert commentary by Simon Gayther and Kate Lawrenson of University College London, who were not involved in the study.

Citation: Crijns APG, Fehrmann RSN, de Jong S, Gerbens F, Meersma GJ, et al. (2009) Survival-related profile, pathways, and transcription factors in ovarian cancer. PLoS Med 6(2): e1000024. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000024
medicine.plosjournals.org/perl… journal.pmed.1000024

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Immune checkpoint inhibitors may work in brain cancers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Quantum mechanics to charge your laptop?

Sep 18, 2014

Top scientists from UC Berkeley and MIT found the expertise they lacked at FIU. They invited Sakhrat Khizroev, a professor with appointments in both medicine and engineering, to help them conduct research ...

Team makes scientific history with new cellular connection

Sep 11, 2014

Researchers led by Dr. Helen McNeill at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute have revealed an exciting and unusual biochemical connection. Their discovery has implications for diseases linked to mitochondria, ...

Recommended for you

Immune checkpoint inhibitors may work in brain cancers

44 minutes ago

New evidence that immune checkpoint inhibitors may work in glioblastoma and brain metastases was presented today by Dr Anna Sophie Berghoff at the ESMO Symposium on Immuno-Oncology 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

New model of follow up for breast cancer patients

4 hours ago

Public health researchers from the University of Adelaide have evaluated international breast cancer guidelines, finding that there is potential to improve surveillance of breast cancer survivors from both a patient and health ...

Immunotherapy set to revolutionise cancer treatment

5 hours ago

Immunotherapy is set to revolutionise the treatment of cancer, according to ESMO President Professor Rolf A. Stahel. His comments come as the ESMO Symposium on Immuno-Oncology 2014 is about to open in Geneva, Switzerland ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.