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Stroma genomic signature predicts resistance to anthracyclin-based chemotherapy in breast cancer
Date:2/3/2009

d sent to Professor Richard Iggo's laboratory which was at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Lausanne at the time of the study, which was to a large part sponsored by the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Molecular Oncology. In Lausanne, the genomic material (mRNA) of tumor samples were extracted and profiled on microarrays in order to measure the expression activity pattern of thousands of individual genes.

Meanwhile, all patients included in the said study had a tumor biopsy prior to receiving an anthracyclin-based chemotherapy followed by surgical excision of the tumour a protocol that clinicians call neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. After the surgical intervention, pathologists analysed the surgical specimen and determined if tumor cells were still present. This is a way to measure the efficacy of the chemotherapy.

If no tumor cells were found, the patient was considered to be fully responsive to the treatment (defined as "complete pathological response"). The aim of the study was to test if genomic analysis of the tumor taken before chemotherapy treatment could allow the identification a signature which permits the prediction of the patients who would respond to the chemotherapy.

To achieve this task, Drs Farmer, Mauro Delorenzi, and Pratyaksha Wirapati from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics developed new computational methods to extract relevant gene patterns from the vast quantity of data generated by the microarray experiment. "In this study, we have mined the gene expression data in order to find a particular gene activity pattern, or gene signature, that would be associated with how patients respond to chemotherapy," Dr Farmer said.

Results showed that a signature measuring the biological activity of tumor's microenvironment, also known as reactive stroma, predicted how patients would respond to the treatment.

Researchers found that it is precisely the magni
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Contact: Janice Blondeau
janice.blondeau@isb-sib.ch
41-216-924-054
Swiss Institute of Bioinoformatics
Source:Eurekalert

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