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

Gene may Help Predict if Further Cancer Treatments are Needed

Published: Saturday, March 29, 2014
Last Updated: Saturday, March 29, 2014
Bookmark and Share
The findings offer insight into helping patients assess treatment risk.

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are developing a new predictive tool that could help patients with breast cancer and certain lung cancers decide whether follow-up treatments are likely to help.

Dr. Jerry Shay, Vice Chairman and Professor of Cell Biology at UT Southwestern, led a three-year study on the effects of irradiation in a lung cancer-susceptible mouse model. When his team looked at gene expression changes in the mice, then applied them to humans with early stage cancer, the results revealed a breakdown of which patients have a high or low chance of survival.

The findings, published online in Clinical Cancer Research, offer insight into helping patients assess treatment risk. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy that can destroy tumors also can damage surrounding healthy tissue. So with an appropriate test, patients could avoid getting additional radiation or chemotherapy treatment they may not need, Dr. Shay said.

“This finding could be relevant to the many thousands of individuals affected by these cancers and could prevent unnecessary therapy,” said Dr. Shay, Associate Director for Education and Training for the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern. “We’re trying to find better prognostic indicators of outcomes so that only patients who will benefit from additional therapy receive it.”

Dr. Shay’s study closely monitored lung cancer development in mice after irradiation. His group found some types of irradiation resulted in an increase in invasive, more malignant tumors. He examined the gene expression changes in mice well before some of them developed advanced cancers. The genes in the mouse that correlated with poor outcomes were then matched with human genes. When Dr. Shay’s team compared the predictive signatures from the mice with more than 700 human cancer patient signatures, the overall survivability of the patients correlated with his predictive signature in the mice. Thus, the classifier that predicted invasive cancer in mice also predicted poor outcomes in humans.

His study looked at adenocarcinoma, a type of lung cancer in the air sacks that afflicts both smokers and non-smokers. The findings also predicted overall survival in patients with early-stage breast cancer and thus offer the same helpful information to breast cancer patients; however the genes were not predictive of another type of lung cancer, called squamous cell carcinoma. Other types of cancers have yet to be tested.

The American Cancer Society estimates the risk of developing lung cancer to be 1 in 13 for men and 1 in 16 for women, including both smokers and non-smokers. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, accounting for about 13 percent of all new cancers, and about 27 percent of cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 224,210 new cases of lung cancer and nearly 160,000 deaths from lung cancer will occur in 2014. Survival statistics vary depending on the stage of the cancer and when it is diagnosed.

Dr. Shay’s research is paid for in part by a five-year grant from NASA, which helps fund cancer research due to cancer risks faced by astronauts during space missions.

The findings could lead to more individualized care and pave the way to better, more science-based care and decision making, he said.

“Personalized medicine is coming,” Dr. Shay said. “I think this is the future - patients looking at their risks of cancer recurrence and deciding what to do next. We can better tailor the treatment to fit the individual. That’s the goal.”

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 2,700+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,800+ 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

Researchers Develop Classification Model for Cancers Caused by KRAS
Most frequently mutated cancer gene help oncologists choose more effective cancer therapies.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
UT Southwestern Biochemist Receives NIH Early Independence Award
Dr. William Israelsen studies on hibernation may aid the fight against cancer.
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
UT Southwestern Geneticist to Receive Pearl Meister Greengard Prize
Dr. Helen Hobbs will receive the prize Nov. 17 in a ceremony at The Rockefeller University.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Physiologists Uncover a New Code at the Heart of Biology
New “code” - the speed limit of assembly - dictate the ultimate function of a given protein.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
CRI Scientists See Through Bones
Findings uncover new details about blood-forming stem cells.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Researchers Assist in Landmark NIH Study
Study shows intensive blood pressure management may save lives.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Regenerative Medicine Biologists Discover a Cellular Structure that Explains Fate of Stem Cells
The findings are presented in the journal Nature.
Thursday, July 02, 2015
Cell that Replenishes Heart Muscle Found by UT Southwestern Researchers
Researchers devise a new cell-tracing technique to detect cells that do replenish themselves.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Researchers Find Molecular Mechanisms within Fetal Lungs that Initiate Labor
Biochemists found that steroid receptor coactivators 1 and 2 (SRC-1 and SRC-2) proteins control genes.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Researchers Discover Molecule that Accelerates Tissue Regeneration
Newly discovered molecule, SW033291 accelerate cell recovery following bone marrow transplants.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Boosting Gut Bacteria Defense System May Lead to Better Treatments
Life-threatening bloodstream infections reversed by enhancing a specific immune defense response.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Immunity Enzyme Defends Against Tuberculosis Infection
Study shows that cGAS enzyme is essential for defense against the tuberculosis bacteria.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
UT Southwestern Faculty Members Named HHMI Investigators
Appointment of Dr. Kim Orth and Dr. Joshua Mendell to HHMI.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
UT Southwestern’s Dr. Philipp Scherer Receive Banting Medal
Dr. Scherer will receive the prestigious Medal for diabetes research.
Friday, May 08, 2015
Mutations in Two Genes Linked to Familial Pulmonary Fibrosis and Telomere Shortening
PARN and RTEL1 genes strengthen the link between lung fibrosis and telomere dysfunction.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Scientific News
Breaking Through the Barriers to Lab Innovation
Here we examine the drivers behind the move for greater innovation, the challenges and current trends in laboratory informatics, and the tools that can be used to break these barriers.
Education and Expense: The Barriers to Mass Spectrometry in Clinical Laboratories?
Here we examine the perceived barriers to mass spec in clinical laboratories and explore the possible drivers behind the recent shift in uptake of the technology in clinical settings.
Removing 62 Barriers to Pig–to–Human Organ Transplant in One Fell Swoop
The largest number of simultaneous gene edits ever accomplished in the genome could help bridge the gap between organ transplant scarcity and the countless patients who need them.
Fruit Fly Pheromone Flags Great Real Estate for Starting a Family
Finding could aid efforts to control mosquito-borne diseases like malaria by manipulating odorants
Gene Editing Could Enable Pig-To-Human Organ Transplant
The largest number of simultaneous gene edits ever accomplished in the genome could help bridge the gap between organ transplant scarcity and the countless patients who need them.
Antioxidants Cause Malignant Melanoma to Metastasize Faster
Fresh research at Sahlgrenska Academy has found that antioxidants can double the rate of melanoma metastasis in mice.
New Therapy Reduces Symptoms of Inherited Enzyme Deficiency
A phase three clinical trial of a new enzyme replacement medication, sebelipase alfa, showed a reduction in multiple disease-related symptoms in children and adults with lysosomal acid lipase deficiency, an inherited enzyme deficiency that can result in scarring of the liver and high cholesterol.
Biomarker Predicting Transplant Complications May be Key to Treating Them
A protein that can be used to predict if a stem cell transplant patient will suffer severe complications may also be the key to preventing those complications, an international research team based at the Indiana University School of Medicine reported Wednesday.
Potential New Diagnosis and Therapy for Breast Cancer
Scientists at the University of York, using clinical specimens from charity Breast Cancer Now’s Tissue Bank, have conducted new research into a specific sodium channel that indicates the presence of cancer cells and affects tumour growth rates.
First Results Describing Sick Sea Star Immune Response
Though millions of sea stars along the West Coast have perished in the past several years from an apparent wasting disease, scientists still don’t know why.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
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
2,700+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos