Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genomic Signatures Identify Targeted Therapies For Lung Cancer

Date:
June 4, 2007
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Any number of things can go wrong in the cells of the body to cause cancer -- and clinicians can't tell by just looking at a tumor what exactly triggered the once normal cells to turn cancerous.

Any number of things can go wrong in the cells of the body to cause cancer -- and clinicians can't tell by just looking at a tumor what exactly triggered the once normal cells to turn cancerous.

Related Articles


New tests developed by researchers at Duke University can determine the precise patterns among thousands of genes to identify the cascade of events, or pathways, that led to the cancer.

These "genomic signatures" will give clinicians the tools they need to pursue alternatives to the traditional blunt force of chemotherapy. Following this test, patients might be treated with drugs that specifically target the faulty pathway, the researchers said.

"Traditional chemotherapy is not always effective," said Anil Potti, M.D., the study's lead investigator and an assistant professor of medicine in the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. "Even when we are able to match the right chemotherapy with the right patient, 70 percent of patients with lung cancer may not respond to therapy. We need to take a different approach to those patients, and that is where these targeted therapeutics come in."

Potti and colleagues presented their findings on Sunday, June 3, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, in Chicago. The work was funded by the Jimmy V Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Mutations in individual cancer-causing genes, called oncogenes, set off a cascade of changes in the activity of hundreds of other interacting genes -- either increasing or decreasing their activity.

Rather than looking at each of these oncogenes individually, this new method presents a more global view by identifying the pathway encompassing all of the gene mutations that could have caused that cancer, Potti said.

The genomic test can theoretically apply to any cancer, but the Duke team focused on lung cancer because the survival rate is just 15 percent. Lung cancer now kills more Americans each year than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined.

The tests work by scanning thousands of genes in cells taken from the tumors of cancer patients and kept alive in laboratory cultures to produce a genomic profile of the tumor's molecular makeup. These patterns led to the identification of defective pathway in patients with both early stage and advanced disease. In particular, tumors with defects in two specific pathways -- called Src and Myc -- had much worse prognosis than those with defects in another pathway, called Ras.

The researchers then treated the laboratory tumors with drugs that specifically blocked one of the three different pathways. In all cases, the cancer responded to treatment with the appropriate targeted therapy.

Targeted therapeutics such as this could be "smart bombs" in comparison to the standard chemotherapy that obliterates all the cells that are actively reproducing.

Hundreds of drugs are currently available to target specific pathways. But because these therapies are effective only in a small percentage of patients, the majority of these drugs go unused.

Potti said the genomic signature tests would give patients another option to traditional chemotherapy. The Duke team plans to begin a clinical trial of the genomic tests in lung cancer patients this year.

"We hope that using this research to selectively add targeted drugs to current chemotherapy regimens will increase the response rate dramatically for patients with lung cancer," Potti said.

Other researchers participating in the study were Holly Dressman, Andrea Bild, Michael Kelley, Jeffrey Crawford, David Harpole, Geoffrey Ginsburg and Joseph Nevins.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Genomic Signatures Identify Targeted Therapies For Lung Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070603215435.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2007, June 4). Genomic Signatures Identify Targeted Therapies For Lung Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070603215435.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Genomic Signatures Identify Targeted Therapies For Lung Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070603215435.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

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