Specific oncogene plays a role in lung squamous cell carcinoma

Jul 27, 2010

The identification of an oncogene (called BRF2) specific to lung squamous cell carcinoma suggests that genetic activation of this oncogene could be used as an identification marker for this type of lung cancer. Furthermore, this oncogene may provide a new target for therapeutics for lung squamous cell carcinoma. These findings come from a study by William Lockwood and colleagues from the BC Cancer Agency's Research Centre in Vancouver, Canada, and are reported in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death, killing 1.3 million people every year worldwide. Most cases of are "non-small cell lung cancers" of which there are 2 main types: squamous cell and adenocarcinoma.

The authors used a comparative genetic hybridisation technique to show that the focal amplification of chromosome region 8p12 plays a role in the development of lung (in about 40% of cases) but not in the development of lung adenocarcinoma where DNA loss in this chromosomal region is the most common alteration. The BRF2 was frequently activated in pre-invasive stages of lung squamous cell carcinoma — carcinoma in situ and dysplasia.

The authors conclude: "This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show that the focal amplification of a gene in chromosome 8p12 plays a key role in squamous cell lineage specificity of the disease. Our data suggest that genetic activation of BRF2 represents a unique mechanism of lung squamous cell carcinoma tumorgenesis." They add, "It [BRF2] can serve as a marker of lung squamous cell carcinoma and may provide a novel target for therapy."

Explore further: Suppressing a protein reduces cancer spread in mice

More information: Lockwood WW, Chari R, et al. (2010) Integrative Genomic Analyses Identify BRF2 as a Novel Lineage-Specific Oncogene in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma. PLoS Med 7(7): e1000315. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000315

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New genetic techniques to combat lung cancer

Apr 25, 2008

New results on genetic techniques that are helping doctors diagnose and treat lung cancer were released today at the 1st European Lung Cancer Conference jointly organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) ...

HPV infection linked to increased risk of skin cancer

Jul 09, 2010

HPV infection heightens the risk of developing certain skin cancers and is worsened if people are taking immunosuppression drugs, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Gene May Hold Key to Reducing Spread of Oral Cancers

Jul 23, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The spread of cancer cells in the tongue may be reduced if a gene that regulates cancer cell migration can be controlled, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Recommended for you

Suppressing a protein reduces cancer spread in mice

1 hour ago

Scientists have found that decreasing the levels of or blocking a specific protein commonly found in humans and many other animals allowed them to slow the spread of two different kinds of cancer to the lungs ...

Bone loss drugs may help prevent endometrial cancer

12 hours ago

A new analysis suggests that women who use bisphosphonates—medications commonly used to treat osteoporosis and other bone conditions—have about half the risk of developing endometrial cancer as women who do not use the ...

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.