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.

Scientific News
Nanocarriers May Carry New Hope for Brain Cancer Therapy
Berkeley lab researchers develop nanoparticles that can carry therapeutics across the brain blood barrier.
RNA-Based Drugs Give More Control Over Gene Editing
CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique can be transiently activated and inactivated using RNA-based drugs, giving researchers more precise control in correcting and inactivating genes.
University of Glasgow Researchers Make An Impact in 60 Seconds
Early-career researchers were invited to submit an engaging, dynamic and compelling 60 second video illuminating an aspect of their research.
Metabolic Profiles Distinguish Early Stage Ovarian Cancer with Unprecedented Accuracy
Studying blood serum compounds of different molecular weights has led scientists to a set of biomarkers that may enable development of a highly accurate screening test for early-stage ovarian cancer.
Dead Bacteria to Kill Colorectal Cancer
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have successfully used dead bacteria to kill colorectal cancer cells.
CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing: Check Three Times, Cut Once
Two new studies from UC Berkeley should give scientists who use CRISPR-Cas9 for genome engineering greater confidence that they won’t inadvertently edit the wrong DNA.
Genetically Engineering Algae to Kill Cancer Cells
New interdisciplinary research has revealed the frontline role tiny algae could play in the battle against cancer, through the innovative use of nanotechnology.
How to Control Shape, Structure of DNA and RNA
Researchers have used computational modelling to shed light on precisely how charged gold nanoparticles influence the structure of DNA and RNA.
Advancing Genome Editing of Blood Stem Cells
Genome editing techniques for blood stem cells just got better, thanks to a team of researchers at USC and Sangamo BioSciences.
Gene-Edited Immune Cells Treat ‘Incurable’ Leukaemia
A new treatment that uses ‘molecular scissors’ to edit genes and create designer immune cells programmed to hunt out and kill drug resistant leukaemia has been used at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

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