Navigation Links
First Look at Prostate Cancer Genome Yields Insights
Date:2/9/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic sequencing of the entire prostate cancer cell genome revealed never-before-seen changes in DNA that may contribute to tumor growth, new research finds.

By mapping the full genetic blueprint of the tumor, researchers hope the information will eventually lead to the development of more targeted drugs and a better understanding of which prostate cancers are likely to spread, one of the biggest challenges for physicians and patients.

"With additional studies and as we sequence more prostate cancer genomes, we may be able to distinguish benign from more aggressive prostate cancers and prevent unnecessary surgeries and treatments," said lead study author Michael Berger, now an assistant professor of pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

In the study, researchers mapped the complete genome of prostate cancer -- that is, all genetic material, including more than 20,000 genes and other DNA material surrounding the genes, for seven patients with advanced disease. The researchers then compared the cancer genome in the tumors to the normal genome in white blood cells taken from the same patients.

The investigators found various types of genetic alterations, some of which had previously been identified and others that had never been seen before. Of particular note were structural rearrangements in which relatively large chunks of DNA from one chromosome move to another location, or swap places with other pieces of DNA. These rearrangements can create "fusion genes," prevent genes from working or let the gene operate unchecked, leading to out-of-control cell growth and cancer, the authors noted.

The sequencing revealed nearly 100 such rearrangements in each patient, said Berger.

DNA rearrangements tend to happen more as cancer progresses and the cells become more fragile and damaged, but some of the rearrangements may turn out to be important to the development of the cancer in the first place, he added.

"We are doing whole genome sequencing as opposed to more targeted sequencing because it's really necessary to identify these rearrangements which are so important in prostate cancer," Berger said.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College, appears in the Feb. 10 issue of Nature.

Until recently, such DNA rearrangements were known to be important in blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia, said William Phelps, program director for Translational and Preclinical Cancer Research at the American Cancer Society. However, it's only more recently that researchers have started uncovering the importance of that type of genetic alteration in solid tumors such as breast and now, prostate cancers, he said.

Here's one way to conceptualize the alteration, Phelps said: "If the genome was a book, instead of just looking for out-of-place letters or misspelled words, whole genome sequencing looks for whole paragraphs that are in the wrong place.

"Because [the researchers] sequenced everything, they were able to map not only individual base changes but also how whole genes or segments of the chromosomes had moved around," Phelps said. "By sequencing everything and comparing the normal DNA (in white blood cells), they could see that not only were there individual base changes in the genes, but the genes themselves had been reshuffled in the tumor as part of the process of becoming cancer," he explained.

"If we could use those changes as a diagnostic tool that would be tremendously valuable," he added.

Whole genome sequencing also enables scientists to look not only at "coding" genes, but also "noncoding" DNA around the genes that was once thought to be "junk" but is now known to play an important regulatory role within cells, Phelps said.

Prostate cancer causes more than 30,000 deaths in the United States annually, according to background information in the article. More than 200,000 men are diagnosed each year.

Currently, it's difficult for physicians to know if prostate cancer is going to be slow-growing, in which case doctors may monitor but not treat it, or if it will be aggressive, in which case surgery and chemotherapy may be needed, said Dr. Anna Ferrari, director of the Genitourinary Cancer Program at the NYU Cancer Institute.

The researchers "have done a complete sequencing of the genome in prostate cancers that are very aggressive, and they found in addition to the already established alterations, new genes and new pathways that may influence the progression of the disease," Ferrari said. "This may point to new targets for drug development and treatment strategies."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on prostate cancer.

SOURCES: Michael F. Berger, Ph.D., assistant professor, pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City; William Phelps, Ph.D., program director, Translational and Preclinical Cancer Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Anna C. Ferrari, M.D., director, Genitourinary Oncology Program, NYU Cancer Institute, New York City; Feb. 10, 2011, Nature


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. First Lady Says President Obama Has Quit Smoking
2. FDA Approves First Pacemaker Deemed Safe During MRIs
3. FDA Approves First Drug to Prevent Premature Births
4. HPV vaccine works for boys: Study shows first clear benefits
5. UofL awarded $9.56 million to form first-ever multicenter cardiovascular research network
6. Breathing easy: LSU biochemists offer first 3-D model of asthma-causing inflammation enzyme
7. BUSM researchers involved in first international collaboration on genetics of Alzheimers disease
8. Cancer-targeting investigational nanoparticle receives FDA IND approval for first-in-human trial
9. Ben-Gurion U. researchers determine that a first medical opinion can influence the second
10. First pediatric surgical quality program shows potential to measure childrens outcomes
11. Practical Radiation Oncology publishes first issue
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
First Look at Prostate Cancer Genome Yields Insights
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics ... proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing Effect ... a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice Levels to ... ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX users ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery ... of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , ... for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an ... of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a ... Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 According to ... Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length ... Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends ... report studies the market for the forecast period of ... USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces ... fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps ... and chloride in balance. Increasing number of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... contains up to date financial data derived from varied research ... trends with potential impact on the market during the next ... which comprises of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: