Identifying genes involved in precancerous development has been an arduous task, primarily for lack of a systematic approach to discovering them and the non-availability of quality tumor specimens, Srivastava said. Dr. Czerniak has overcome these difficulties by utilizing the resources available at M. D. Anderson and employing the gene-mapping expertise of his group to uniquely characterize chromosomal regions involved in genomic imbalances, particularly those involved in progression of precancerous conditions to clinically aggressive bladder cancer.
These findings will accelerate the development of clinically useful biomarkers for the early detection, surveillance, and clinical management of bladder cancer, said Srivastava, who leads the NCIs Early Detection Research Network, which partially funds Czerniaks work.
Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the United States and accounts for 3 percent of cancer deaths annually. It is strongly associated with smoking, which studies show is a factor in half of cases
The research model can be used to study other cancers of the epithelium -- the tissue that lines the surfaces and cavities of the body's organs. Epithelial cancers, or carcinomas, make up 80 percent of all cancers.
The researchers report that silenced forerunner genes involved in early development of bladder cancer also are silenced to varying degrees in lung, breast, blood and common pediatric malignancies.
Map leads way to six chromosomal regions
The 29-page paper, which covers multi-step genetic screening, validation studies of initial findings, studies of gene expression, gene sequencing and a regulatory process known as methylation, functional studies of candidate genes and epidemiological analysis, takes up half of Laboratory Investigations space for original research in its July issue.
Weve basically cleared out the issue for this paper, said the journals editor,
|Contact: Scott Merville|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center