Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
PZ HTL SA

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: Chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans, including Alaskan pink shrimp, pictured here (Photo courtesy of NOAA - [US] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Chitosan Treatment Clears the Way for Antibiotics to Eliminate Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Recurrent urinary tract infection was successfully resolved in a mouse model by treatment with the exfoliant chitosan followed by a round of antibiotics. Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), most... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.