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Medicineworld.org: Genes associated with ovarian cancer survival

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Genes associated with ovarian cancer survival




A newly released study published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine identifies molecular pathways linked to outcomes in ovary cancer. Currently, outcomes following diagnosis of ovary cancer are very poor, with up to 65-70% of women dying within five years of diagnosis.



Genes associated with ovarian cancer survival

Anne Crijns and her colleagues from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands aimed to find out whether the expression levels of particular genes were linked to overall survival in ovary cancer. The scientists initially studied a series of tissue samples, obtained during surgery to remove malignant tissue from 157 consecutive patients seen at the University Medical Center Groningen. Analysis of the samples identified 86 genes which correlated with overall survival in the women. The scientists were then able to confirm, for 57 of the 86 genes, that these were also correlated with survival in a second, entirely separate dataset. Specific genes, and pathways, were identified which provide specific targets around which scientists might be able to design potential therapies in future.

For example, Crijns and his colleagues find high expression of a gene encoding a FK506 binding protein, FKBP7, is linked to poor prognosis. This protein can be targeted with existing drugs, the mTOR inhibitors. Another implication of the work discussed by the scientists is the use of this expression signature to identify women who are at greater risk of relapse, and thus potentially personalize therapy. However, as the authors acknowledge, such implications are still some way off. It would be important to carry out prospective studies in order to show that the signature performs effectively in a clinical setting.

The newly released study is discussed in an expert commentary by Simon Gayther and Kate Lawrenson of University College London, who were not involved in the study.


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Did you know?
A newly released study published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine identifies molecular pathways linked to outcomes in ovary cancer. Currently, outcomes following diagnosis of ovary cancer are very poor, with up to 65-70% of women dying within five years of diagnosis.

Medicineworld.org: Genes associated with ovarian cancer survival

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