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TGen researchers map potential genetic origins, pathways of lung cancer in nonsmokers
Date:1/9/2012

ns and pathway alterations that could have led to the development and progression of their specific lung cancer.

"In the never-smoker with early-stage cancer, there are very few mutations in the genome, but when we looked at the whole transcriptome, we see differences in gene expression," Whitsett said.

In the never-smoker with late-stage disease, researchers found mutations in what Whitsett called "classic tumor-suppressor genes." He and his colleagues hypothesize that mutations of the tumor-suppressor genes might be a factor in late-stage lung cancer in never-smokers.

Notably, the researchers reported that these never-smokers' tumors lacked alterations in common genes associated with lung cancer such as EGFR, KRAS and EML/ALK translocations. This finding makes these patients ideal cases for the discovery of new mutations that may drive lung adenocarcinomas in never-smokers, according to the researchers.

Whitsett said that using WGS and WTS to identify cancer origins "has become a way to really dive down into an individual tumor to try to understand the pathways that may be driving that tumor and identify what therapeutic interventions may be possible."

The researchers are now validating these findings in about 30 never-smokers with lung adenocarcinoma and about 60 clinically matched smokers with lung adenocarcinoma.


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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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