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Genes Active in Cancer, Healthy Tissue Predictive of Survival

Genetic information may offer guidance for treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have discovered sets of genes in lung tumors and adjacent healthy tissue that appear to be predictive of survival duration and may help physicians tailor treatment based on a patient's genetic information; their study has been published online Dec. 14 in PLoS Medicine.

Yangsik Jeong, Ph.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues microdissected tissue from the tumors and healthy lung tissue of 30 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, examining each sample for messenger ribonucleic acid associated with genes for nuclear hormone receptors, and then compared gene signatures with the patients' clinical outcomes.

The researchers found gene expressions for specific nuclear hormone receptors highly predictive of survival duration. In particular, the short heterodimer partner and progesterone receptor in tumor tissue, and nerve growth factor induced gene B3 (NGFIB3) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in healthy tissue, predicted longer survival.

"Nuclear receptor expression is strongly associated with clinical outcomes for patients with lung cancer, and this expression profile provides a unique prognostic signature for lung cancer patient survival time, particularly for those with early stage disease. This study highlights the potential use of nuclear receptors as a rational set of therapeutically tractable genes as theragnostic biomarkers, and specifically identifies short heterodimer partner and progesterone receptor in tumors, and NGFIB3 and MR in non-neoplastic lung epithelium, for future detailed translational study in lung cancer," the authors write.

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