Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Three Subtypes of Gastric Cancer Suggest Different Treatment Approaches

Published: Monday, September 09, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, September 09, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Stomach cancer actually falls into three broad subtypes that respond differently to currently available therapies.

The finding could greatly improve patient care with the development of a genetic test to classify tumors and match them to the therapies that offer the best outcomes.

“One of the features that makes gastric cancer so lethal is that it arises from many genetic alterations, creating differences in how the tumors respond to therapies,” said Steve Rozen, Ph.D., director of the Centre for Computational Biology at Duke-NUS. Rozen is senior author of the study published in the September issue of the journal Gastroenterology. “What our study has shown is that there are actually three distinct molecular classifications that appear to be biologically and therapeutically meaningful.”
Worldwide, only lung cancer is more lethal than stomach cancer. Rates in all countries have been dropping for decades, and are much lower in the United States than in Asia, but the malignancy still afflicts more than 21,000 people in the U.S. a year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Despite differences in the way their tumors respond to treatments, patients often receive a “one-size-fits-all” treatment approach, resulting in a five-year survival rate of about 27 percent in the United States.
“There has been an urgent need for improved classification of gastric cancer that provides insight into the biology of the tumors that might help predict treatment response,” said co-senior author Patrick Tan, M.D., PhD., professor in the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program at Duke-NUS.
Using a technology called microarray-based gene expression profiling, Rozen and colleagues analyzed 248 gastric tumors, then further grouped them according to the genes that were expressed in the tumors.
The gene expression analysis broadly sorts the tumors into three subtypes: proliferative, metabolic and mesenchymal. These subtypes also differ in their genomic and epigenomic properties.
Tumors of the proliferative subtype have high levels of genomic instability and a mutation in the TP53 tumor suppressor gene that occurs in many types of cancers. Cancer cells of the metabolic subtype are more sensitive to the chemotherapy agent 5-FU. Cancer cells of the mesenchymal subtype have some features of cancer stem cells, and are particularly sensitive to a class of therapies called PI3K−AKT−mTOR inhibitors.
“In terms of clinical treatment, there are two promising findings from our research,” Rozen said. “One is that 5-FU has been particularly effective against metabolic- subtype tumors, and the second is that drugs targeting the PI3K−AKT−mTOR pathway may be particularly effective against mesenchymal-subtype cancers.
“If confirmed in future studies, the classification of gastric cancers reported here could guide development of therapies tailored to the molecular subtypes,” said lead author Zhengdeng Lei, PhD.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Fragile X Protein Linked to Nearly 100 Genes Involved in Autism
Patients with fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, are often also diagnosed with autism. But little has been known about how the two diagnoses are related.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Scientific News
New Tech Vastly Improves CRISPR/Cas9 Accuracy
A new CRISPR/Cas9 technology developed by scientists at UMass Medical School is precise enough to surgically edit DNA at nearly any genomic location, while avoiding potentially harmful off-target changes typically seen in standard CRISPR gene editing techniques.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Biologists Induce Flatworms to Grow Heads and Brains of Other Species
Findings shed light on role of a new kind of epigenetic signaling in evolution, could yield clues for understanding birth defects and regeneration.
Turning up the Tap on Microbes Leads to Better Protein Patenting
Mining millions of proteins could become faster and easier with a new technique that may also transform the enzyme-catalyst industry, according to University of California, Davis, researchers.
Mathematical Model Forecasts the Path of Breast Cancer
Chances of survival depend on which organs breast cancer tumors colonize first.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tardigrade's Are DNA Master Thieves
Tardigrades, nearly microscopic animals that can survive the harshest of environments, including outer space, hold the record for the animal that has the most foreign DNA.
The Secret Behind the Power of Bacterial Sex
Migration between different communities of bacteria is the key to the type of gene transfer that can lead to the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at Oxford University.
Farming’s in Their DNA
Ancient genomes reveal natural selection in action.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos