Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene Expression Profiling Aids In Ovarian Cancer Prognosis

Date:
November 23, 2004
Source:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Summary:
The identification of a gene expression profile using microarray technology may help clinicians better determine the prognosis of patients with advanced stage ovarian cancer and may eventually help provide targeted therapies for this hard-to-treat disease, according to a study led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).

BOSTON -- The identification of a gene expression profile using microarray technology may help clinicians better determine the prognosis of patients with advanced stage ovarian cancer and may eventually help provide targeted therapies for this hard-to-treat disease, according to a study led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).

The findings, described in an advance on-line publication of the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, represent the first time that this type of genetic test has proven useful as a prognostic tool for ovarian cancer, which accounts for approximately 26,000 new cases and 16,000 deaths in the United States each year.

"Ovarian cancer is widely recognized as being extremely difficult to treat," explains Stephen A. Cannistra, M.D., Director of Gynecologic Medical Oncology at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Because symptoms often do not appear until the disease has already spread to the upper abdomen, this malignancy is usually not diagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage." At that point, he adds, doctors typically use clinical data – such as the amount of residual disease remaining following surgery – to assess a patient's prognosis and determine their course of therapy, a method that Cannistra notes is admittedly imperfect.

Knowing that the behavior of cancers is partly dependent upon which genes are turned on and off in tumor cells, researchers have long suspected that a better understanding of the genetic profile of the tumors of individual patients could help in making a more accurate prognosis.

"With the advent of microarray analysis -- in which genes expressed by the cancer cells are labeled with a probe and then applied to a glass slide that contains embedded sequences of thousands of known human genes – this type of genetic information has become much more accessible," explains Cannistra. "[Through this process] genes that are present in the tumor cell bind to their counterpart sequences on the glass slide, thereby permitting their identification with the aid of computer analysis."

Using tumor tissue from 68 ovarian cancer patients undergoing initial surgery at either BIDMC in Boston or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Cannistra and his co-authors employed microarray analysis to develop a "genetic snapshot" of ovarian cancer.

"We were ultimately able to identify 115 genes, which we refer to collectively as the Ovarian Cancer Prognostic Profile [OCPP]," Cannistra notes. "Simply knowing the expression pattern of these genes from the original tumor sample [i.e., whether genes were 'turned on' or 'turned off'] provided us with important information about prognosis that could not be gleaned from standard clinical features, such as tumor grade or residual disease status."

"Molecular profiling of epithelial ovarian cancer holds promise that goes beyond identifying the most aggressive tumors," according to an editorial published in the on-line version of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. "Gene expression signatures may also be a cornerstone to understanding the root causes of ovarian cancer, and to designing pathway-specific targeted therapies," the commentary concludes. According to Cannistra, future research will further evaluate this technology through prospective studies of patients with both advanced ovarian cancer, as well as early stage disease.

"The use of a powerful prognostic tool such as the OCPP may someday enable clinicians to identify those patients most appropriate for clinical trials [of investigative therapies]," writes Cannistra. "It may also provide insights into why tumors frequently develop resistance to chemotherapy, and may eventually permit individualized use of targeted therapies that are chosen on the basis of a given tumor's genetic profile," he notes.

###

Study co-authors include BIDMC investigators Dimitrios Spentzos, M.D., Xuesong Gu, Ph.D., Towia Libermann, Ph.D., and Marie Joseph; Marco Ramoni, Ph.D. of Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and Douglas Levine, M.D., and Jeff Boyd, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

This study was funded by grants from the Patricia Cronin Foundation, the Director's Challenge Grant and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at BIDMC.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Gene Expression Profiling Aids In Ovarian Cancer Prognosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122100312.htm>.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (2004, November 23). Gene Expression Profiling Aids In Ovarian Cancer Prognosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122100312.htm
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Gene Expression Profiling Aids In Ovarian Cancer Prognosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041122100312.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
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