Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Melanoma: Gene Signature Spells Poor Outcome

Date:
August 31, 2007
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Other than visually inspecting the disease, doctors have no genetic blueprint to classify melanomas, a lethal form of skin cancer. Tumors generally are ranked by how deeply the growth has invaded underlying skin tissue. The deeper it burrows into the skin, the more lethal the cancer, but some patients defy the odds and survive with thick tumors or die from thin ones.

Other than visually inspecting the disease, doctors have no genetic blueprint to classify melanomas, a lethal form of skin cancer. Tumors generally are ranked by how deeply the growth has invaded underlying skin tissue. The deeper it burrows into the skin, the more lethal the cancer, but some patients defy the odds and survive with thick tumors or die from thin ones.

"Two melanoma patients with cancers of the same invasion depth and appearance under the microscope can have completely different outcomes," says Rhoda Alani, M.D., associate professor of oncology, dermatology and molecular biology and genetics at Hopkins' Kimmel Cancer Center.

Alani says the way genes turn their protein-manufacturing machinery on and off in each cancer may help create a signature that can be used to identify tumors that are more prone to kill. These so-called expression patterns can be different from one stage of cancer to the next.

Her research team charted the level of gene expression in melanoma cell lines. Three of the lines mimic the least aggressive type, which grows along the uppermost surface of the skin, called radial growth phase. Four of the cell lines are typical of so-called "vertical growth phase" cancers, which invade inner skin layers, and another three represent the most lethal form -metastatic melanomas.

Two vertical growth phase cell lines had gene expression patterns similar to radial growth cancers, indicating that these cells were less aggressive, according to the scientists. The remaining two vertical growth cell lines contained patterns in 18 genes that paralleled metastatic cancer cell lines, the most aggressive form. Alani and her colleagues believe that within this group of 18 genes is a signature for aggressive melanomas.

Many of the genes described in the Hopkins report, published online on July 4 in PLoS One, were previously identified as associated with aggressive cancers by scientists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere, but Alani says her study brings them all together for melanoma and links them to an aggressive profile.

Alani's team is validating these results in human tissue samples and evaluating gene correlations with patient outcomes. Funding for the study was provided by the National Cancer Institute. With further study, the genes could be used in tests that predict a patient's prognosis and as targets for tailored therapies, she says.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Skin Association, Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, the Murren Family Foundation, and the Henry and Elaine Kaufman Foundation. Authors include Byungwoo Ryu, Dave S. Kim, and Amena M. DeLuca from Johns Hopkins.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Melanoma: Gene Signature Spells Poor Outcome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830160749.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2007, August 31). Melanoma: Gene Signature Spells Poor Outcome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830160749.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Melanoma: Gene Signature Spells Poor Outcome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070830160749.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 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:
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