Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
PURITAN MEDICAL
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Oncogenic Gene Fusions Found in Some Types of Lung Cancer

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 07 Nov 2013
A certain subset of lung adenocarcinomas (a form of non-small-cell lung cancer) are triggered by a mutation that creates oncogenic "fusion genes.”

Investigators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA, USA) and the University of Colorado Cancer Center (Denver, USA) performed next-generation DNA sequencing on tumor samples taken from 36 patients with lung adenocarcinomas whose tumors did not contain any previously known oncogenic mutations. They found that in samples taken from two female nonsmokers a region of the NTRK1 (neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 1) gene had become fused to normally distant genes (to the MPRIP gene in one patient and the CD74 gene in the other).

NTRK1 encodes the protein TrkA, which is the high affinity catalytic receptor for the neurotrophin NGF (nerve growth factor). As such, it mediates the multiple effects of NGF, which include neuronal differentiation and avoidance of programmed cell death. The fusion of NTRK1 to a second gene resulted in constant TRKA kinase activity, which was oncogenic. Treatment of cells expressing NTRK1 fusions with inhibitors of TRKA kinase activity inhibited autophosphorylation of TRKA and blocked cell growth.

Overall, tumor samples from 91 patients with lung cancers without known oncogenic alterations were assayed by next-generation sequencing or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Results published in the October 27, 2013, online edition of the journal Nature Medicine revealed that three of the samples (3.3%) demonstrated evidence of NTRK1 gene fusions.

"These findings suggest that in a few percent of lung adenocarcinoma patients—people in whose cancer cells we had previously been able to find no genetic abnormality—tumor growth is driven by a fusion involving NTRK1," said contributing author Dr. Pasi A. Jänne, associate professor of medicine at the Dana- Farber Cancer Institute. "Given that lung cancer is a common cancer, even a few percent is significant and translates into a large number of patients. Our findings suggest that targeted therapies may be effective for this subset of lung cancer patients."

"Treatment with targeted therapies is now superior to standard chemotherapy for many patients with lung cancers that harbor genetic changes including those with fusions involving the gene ALK,” said Dr. Jänne. “We know of several other genes that are fused in lung cancer and that offer attractive targets for new therapies. Our discovery places lung adenocarcinomas with NTRK1 fusions squarely within that group."

Related Links:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
University of Colorado Cancer Center



Channels

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: A new micelle delivery system for the protective polyphenols resveratrol and quercetin (mRQ) may have value in cancer chemotherapy (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University).

Micelles Containing Resveratrol and Quercetin Reverse Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity

Cancer researchers blocked the toxic effects of the cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) by administering it together with the plant antioxidants resveratrol and quercetin. Although in use for more than 40... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The Leica DM2500 LED Microscope for clinical laboratories and research applications (Photo courtesy of Leica Microsystems).

New LED Microscope Completes Line of Clinical and Research Tools

A popular microscope used for both clinical and research applications is now available with LED illumination. The Leica (Wetzlar, Germany) DM2500 and DM2500 LED microscopes represent a class of tools... Read more

Business

view channel

Teva Buys Allergan Generic Business Unit

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Petah Tikva, Israel) has bought the Allergan (Irvine, CA, USA) generic drugs business for USD 40.5 billion in cash and stock, solidifying its position as the world's largest generic drug maker. Under the terms of the agreement, Teva will pay USD 33.75 billion in cash and USD 6.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.