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Researchers identify unique immune gene signature across thousands of patients' solid tumors

Date:
October 25, 2012
Source:
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a unique immune gene signature that can predict the presence of microscopic lymph node-like structures in metastatic melanoma. The presence of these immune structures, the researchers said, appears to be associated with better survival and may indicate the possibility of selecting patients for immunotherapy based solely on the immune-related makeup of their tumors as an approach to personalized medicine.

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have discovered a unique immune gene signature that can predict the presence of microscopic lymph node-like structures in metastatic melanoma. The presence of these immune structures, the researchers said, appears to be associated with better survival and may indicate the possibility of selecting patients for immunotherapy based solely on the immune-related makeup of their tumors as an approach to personalized medicine.

The study appears in Scientific Reports, a journal from Nature Publishing Group.

In this study, the researchers analyzed a 12-chemokine gene expression signature across nearly 15,000 distinct solid tumors of different types, including metastatic melanoma. Chemokines are powerful immune system molecules known to be important in lymph node formation and function during development. The 12-chemokine gene expression signature was found to remarkably predict the presence of microscopic lymph node-like structures within some melanomas and was also associated with better overall survival of these patients.

The researchers speculate that the lymph nodal structures they identified are active and playing an important positive role in a self-elicited (endogenous) anti-tumor response -- initially locally and then systemically. They also anticipate that their findings in melanoma may extend to other solid tumors, such as those of colorectal, lung and ovarian origin.

"We believe this gene expression signature reveals information on a unique anti-tumor response mechanism within the microenvironment of certain patient solid tumors, which may be their Achilles' heel to make them unusually responsive to immunotherapy and possibly lead to improved patient survival," explained the study's senior author, James J. Mul้, Ph.D., associate center director of Translational Research at Moffitt.

This study was supported in part by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (R01 CA148995), The V Foundation for Cancer Research and the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation. This work also utilized the Total Cancer Careฎ biorepository and data warehouse.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jane L. Messina, David A. Fenstermacher, Steven Eschrich, Xiaotao Qu, Anders E. Berglund, Mark C. Lloyd, Michael J. Schell, Vernon K. Sondak, Jeffrey S. Weber, James J. Mul. 12-Chemokine Gene Signature Identifies Lymph Node-like Structures in Melanoma: Potential for Patient Selection for Immunotherapy? Scientific Reports, 2012; 2 DOI: 10.1038/srep00765

Cite This Page:

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. "Researchers identify unique immune gene signature across thousands of patients' solid tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095537.htm>.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. (2012, October 25). Researchers identify unique immune gene signature across thousands of patients' solid tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095537.htm
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. "Researchers identify unique immune gene signature across thousands of patients' solid tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095537.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

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