Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Fingerprinting Improves Diagnosis And Treatment Of Sarcoma

Date:
May 21, 2002
Source:
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Summary:
New research being presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology demonstrates that a new technique enables doctors to distinguish the molecular differences among many subtypes of adult soft-tissue sarcoma, a type of cancer that is often difficult to diagnose and treat.

Orlando, FL, May 19, 2002 - Decades of research into the cell's molecular mechanics have produced a promising arsenal of drugs that selectively attack cancer cells and leave the surrounding normal tissue relatively untouched.

Because these drugs target tumors based on their unique genetic characteristics, the ability to accurately identify a cancer's biological makeup is key.

New research being presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology demonstrates that a new technique enables doctors to distinguish the molecular differences among many subtypes of adult soft-tissue sarcoma, a type of cancer that is often difficult to diagnose and treat.

Using a sophisticated technology called oligonucleotide array analysis, researchers developed a genetic fingerprint of each sarcoma, which will ultimately improve the diagnosis of this varied group of tumors and aid the development of targeted therapies for this disease.

"Our findings suggest that genetic fingerprinting of adult sarcomas will be useful in cases where pathologists disagree about a diagnosis or when the appearance of tumor cells does not conclusively link them to a particular subtype," said Robert Maki, MD, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and lead investigator of the study.

Soft-tissue sarcomas originate in tissues such as fat, muscles, nerves, tendons, and blood vessels.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 8,700 new cases of soft-tissue sarcoma are diagnosed each year in adults and children in the United States. Treatment usually involves surgery to remove the tumor followed by radiation therapy, and sometimes chemotherapy.

Many sarcomas look almost identical under the microscope, making it difficult to distinguish between certain subtypes and presenting unique challenges in detection and treatment.

For years, many pathologists grouped ambiguous sarcomas into a general category called malignant fibrous histiocytomas (MFH), a diagnosis that has been questioned as a distinct subtype of sarcoma. With current treatments, only about 50 percent of patients with MFH sarcoma survive the disease long-term. Now, researchers have been able to prove that MFH is in fact a separate subtype of the disease with unique genetic characteristics.

In the study, researchers tested 52 different samples of soft-tissue sarcoma on a single slide and analyzed the pattern of activity of approximately 12,500 genes. The technique allowed them to easily distinguish among soft-tissue sarcomas that have known genetic abnormalities.

In addition, they were able to differentiate between certain MFH sarcomas, and discovered that some of them formed a distinct subtype.

Researchers identified genes characteristic of each kind of soft-tissue sarcoma, which may ultimately lead to new, targeted drugs for patients with this disease.

"Genetic fingerprinting technology will also enhance our ability to predict patient outcome," said the study's senior author, Carlos Cordon-Cardo, MD, PhD, Director of the Division of Pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. "Because we can see which genes are turned on or off in response to therapy, the technology will help us determine whether a particular sarcoma subtype will eventually become resistant to a given treatment," he said.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering experts have pioneered the molecular classification and diagnosis of many sarcoma subtypes and are leading the search for genetic markers that may help determine the aggressiveness of tumors and their potential response to treatment. In fact, Sloan-Kettering houses the largest dedicated database for soft-tissue sarcoma of any single institution anywhere.

As Dr. Maki notes, "The knowledge we have gained from this database has allowed us to help patients avoid excessive surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, and to anticipate how patients will respond to these therapies."

Researchers from Columbia University collaborated on the work, which was supported by the National Cancer Institute.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the world's oldest and largest institution devoted to prevention, patient care, research and education in cancer. Our scientists and clinicians generate innovative approaches to better understand, diagnose and treat cancer. Our specialists are leaders in biomedical research and in translating the latest research to advance the standard of cancer care worldwide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "Genetic Fingerprinting Improves Diagnosis And Treatment Of Sarcoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020520074817.htm>.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. (2002, May 21). Genetic Fingerprinting Improves Diagnosis And Treatment Of Sarcoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020520074817.htm
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "Genetic Fingerprinting Improves Diagnosis And Treatment Of Sarcoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020520074817.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins