Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Signature' Of Chromosome Instability Predicts Cancer Outcomes

Date:
August 21, 2006
Source:
Children's Hospital Boston
Summary:
Traditional microscopic examination can't always accurately predict a cancer's aggressiveness, leading to increased interest in molecular diagnostic techniques. Now, researchers report in Nature Genetics that a gene-expression profile indicating chromosomal instability -- an increased tendency to develop chromosomal aberrations -- predicts clinical outcome in a broad range of cancer types. Their technique could also aid the search for cancer drugs that reduce chromosomal instability, a key factor in promoting cancer.

Microscopic examination of tumor specimens cannot always predict a cancer's aggressiveness, leading to increased interest in molecular approaches to diagnosis. Now, researchers in the Children's Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP) at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology report that a genetic profile indicating chromosomal instability -- an increased tendency to develop chromosomal aberrations, critical in cancer development -- is predictive of clinical outcome in a broad range of cancer types.

Related Articles


Using data on gene expression (activity) from 18 previous studies of cancer, representing six cancer types, they found that this genetic profile, or signature, predicted poor clinical outcome in 12 of the populations studied. The study was published online by the journal Nature Genetics on August 20.

"Chromosomal instability is one of the key mechanisms that keeps malignant cell proliferation going," says Zoltan Szallasi, MD, a CHIP researcher and the study's senior investigator. "We have achieved a relatively easy way to measure the level of chromosomal instability in a given tumor sample."

The technique may help in the search for cancer drugs that reduce chromosomal instability -- an approach of increasing interest to researchers -- by making it possible to screen a large number of drugs for efficacy, Szallasi notes. With further development, the team's work could also form the basis of a diagnostic tool that could be used in the clinic.

The human genome is at constant risk for mutations due to environmental insults, errors in gene replication, and other factors that can cause chromosomes to break and bits of DNA to be lost, duplicated or reshuffled to the wrong chromosomes. Cells have repair mechanisms that constantly fix this damage, but when the repair process breaks down, chromosomes become unstable and cancers are more likely to develop.

Chromosomal instability leads to a condition known as aneuploidy, in which chunks of DNA are either missing or duplicated. The technique developed by Szallasi's team indirectly measures the degree of aneuploidy -- and thus the degree of chromosomal instability -- by looking for abnormal expression levels of genes at the different chromosomal locations.

Next, the researchers identified 25 genes whose activity most strongly predicted chromosomal instability itself. This 25-gene signature was a significant predictor of clinical outcomes in a variety of cancers (breast, lung, medulloblastoma, glioma, mesothelioma and lymphoma). It could also differentiate between primary tumors and tumor metastases, and, in grade 1 and grade 2 breast cancer, distinguished the more aggressive cancers within each grade.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital Boston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital Boston. "'Signature' Of Chromosome Instability Predicts Cancer Outcomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060820191755.htm>.
Children's Hospital Boston. (2006, August 21). 'Signature' Of Chromosome Instability Predicts Cancer Outcomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060820191755.htm
Children's Hospital Boston. "'Signature' Of Chromosome Instability Predicts Cancer Outcomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060820191755.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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