TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 6, 2012) A malignancy-risk gene signature developed for breast cancer has been found to have predictive and prognostic value for patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer. The advancement was made by researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., who published their study results in a recent issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
According to corresponding author Dung-Tsa Chen, Ph.D., associate member with the Moffitt Biostatistics program, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 80-90 percent of all lung cancers. Patients with NSCLC have a 30-50 percent relapse rate after surgery and a 40-70 percent five-year survival rate. Although adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) has increased survival rates and has become standard treatment for NSCLC, a proportion of patients do not derive any benefit from it.
"Better prognostic tools have been needed to identify both patients with a high probability of relapse and those who would benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy," said Chen.
He added that the Moffitt researchers are confident that their newly tested malignancy-risk gene signature for NSCLC will provide that tool because their malignancy-risk gene signature is a proliferative gene signature, one associated with both cancer risk and progression.
According to the researchers, their findings suggest a "transferability" of the malignancy-risk gene signature between breast cancer and NSCLC, a "unique feature not seen in other gene signatures derived for various tumor types."
"To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to show a high consistency of the gene signature on both breast cancer and NSCLC," said Chen. "The gene signature demonstrated a statistically significant association with overall survival and other clinical predictors in NSCLC."
Originally, the malignancy-risk signature gene was designed to distinguish between normal breast tissues and b
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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute