Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible ovarian cancer treatment target identified

Date:
December 10, 2009
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
A multi-institutional study has identified a potential personalized treatment target for the most common form of ovarian cancer. The research team discovered that a gene called MAGP2 -- not previously associated with any type of cancer -- was overexpressed in papillary serous ovarian tumors of patients who died more quickly. They also found evidence suggesting possible mechanisms by which MAGP2 may promote tumor growth.

A multi-institutional study has identified a potential personalized treatment target for the most common form of ovarian cancer. In the December 8 issue of Cancer Cell, the research team describes finding that a gene called MAGP2 -- not previously associated with any type of cancer -- was overexpressed in papillary serous ovarian tumors of patients who died more quickly. They also found evidence suggesting possible mechanisms by which MAGP2 may promote tumor growth.

"Ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed at an advanced stage when it is incurable, and the same treatments have been used for virtually all patients," says Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, director of medical gynecologic oncology in the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, the study's corresponding author. "Previous research from my lab indicated that different types and grades of ovarian tumors should be treated differently, and this paper now shows that even papillary serous tumors have differences that impact patient prognosis." Birrer was with the National Institutes of Health when this study began and joined the MGH Cancer Center.

The fifth most common malignancy among U.S. women, ovarian cancer is expected to cause close to 15,000 deaths during 2009. Accounting for 60 percent of ovarian cancers, papillary serous tumors are typically diagnosed after spreading beyond the ovaries. The tumors typically return after initial treatment with surgery and chemotherapy, but while some patients die a few months after diagnosis, others may survive five years or longer while receiving treatment.

To search for genes expressed at different levels in patients with different survival histories, which could be targets for new treatments, the researchers conducted whole-genome profiling of tissue samples that had been microdissected -- reducing the presence of non-tumor cells -- from 53 advanced papillary serous ovarian tumors. Of 16 genes that appeared to have tumor-associated expression levels, only expression of the gene for microfibril-associated glycoprotein 2 (MAGP2) had the strongest correlation with was clearly correlated with reduced patient survival.

Further analysis confirmed that MAGP2 expression was elevated in another group of malignant ovarian tumors but not in normal tissue. The gene's expression was also reduced in patients whose tumors responded to chemotherapy. Recombinant expression of MAGP2 in samples of the endothelial cells that line blood vessels caused the cells to migrate and invade other tissues, which combined with the observation that MAGP2-rich tumors have increased microvessel density suggests a potential role for the protein in the growth of a tumor's blood supply.

"By confirming that different ovarian tumors have distinctive gene signatures that can predict patient prognosis, this study marks the beginning of individualized care for ovarian cancer," says Birrer, a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "MAGP2 and the biochemical pathways it contributes to are definitely targets for new types of therapies, and we plan to pursue several strategies to interfere with tumor-associated pathways. But first we need to validate these findings in samples from patients treated in clinical trials."

Co-lead authors of the Cancer Cell paper are Samuel Mok, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Tomas Bonome, National Cancer Institute (NCI). Additional co-authors are Kwong-Kowk Wong, M.D. Anderson; Vinod Vathipadiekal, Aaron Bell, Howard Donninger, Laurent Ozbun, Goli Samimi, John Brady, Mike Randonovich, Cindy Pise-Masison, and Carl Barrett, NCI; Michael Johnson, Dong-Choon Park, William Welch and Ross Berkowitz, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Ke Hao and Wing Wong, Harvard School of Public Health; and Daniel Yip, University of South Florida. The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the National Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Possible ovarian cancer treatment target identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091208181128.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2009, December 10). Possible ovarian cancer treatment target identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091208181128.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Possible ovarian cancer treatment target identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091208181128.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. 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