Profiling Study Identifies Gene Expression Signature Associated With Survival In Advanced Ovarian Cancer

February 4, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment


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 Crijnsand 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:
“Survival-related profile, pathways, and transcription factors in
ovarian cancer.”

Crijns APG, Fehrmann RSN, de Jong S, Gerbens F, Meersma GJ, et al. (2009)

PLoS Med 6(2): e1000024. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000024

Click here to view article online.



About PLoS Medicine



PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of
human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit
http://www.plosmedicine.org



About the Public Library of Science



The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical
literature a freely available public resource.



Public Library of Science

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]

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