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Data-handling technique finds genes to be team players in curbing brain cancer cell growth
Date:4/7/2008

creasingly coming to appreciate, however, that they operate in concert that each one has multiple tentacles reaching out to other pathways and they function collectively as a network. When one pathway goes out of commission, another may switch on to compensate. Such knowledge means that effective treatment of cancers cannot rely on inhibiting single pathways, but must anticipate how the network would react.

The algorithm was designed as a reliable way of determining which gene alterations are most likely linked to cancer. It filters data from gene-array studies through a three-dimensional type of analysis. In chromosome regions with extra or missing DNA -- indicating too many or too few copies of key genes -- the algorithm looks at how long the region is, how wide or thick it is, and how frequently it turns up in cancer tissue.

The Genome-Topography-Scan algorithm, as it is called, can help investigators prioritize their search for cancer-related genes, Chin says, and will be refined and improved as research continues. By pointing to genes with a high probability of being involved in cancer, the technique can speed the process by which new cancer genes are identified and therapies are developed to counter them, she states.


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Contact: Bill Schaller
william_schaller@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-5357
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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