26 August 2014
Researchers at the University of California's San Diego School of Medicine have suggested how deadly forms of cancer tumours are able to resist treatment.
Published in the journal Oncotarget, the new study found that it is the epigenetic signature that affects how resistant a tumour is to therapy, not its DNA sequence.
The researchers used a method called comparative gene signature analysis to study the genetic profiles of tumour specimens collected from around 900 glioblastoma patients, which allows them to determine whether specific cellular processes are "turned on" or "turned off" in glioblastomas.
Professor Jie Li, senior postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Theoretical and Applied Neuro-Oncology at the university and co-first author of the paper, said the research had found that not all glioblastomas are the same. It had also allowed them to classify glioblastomas based on the type of cellular processes cancer cells use to drive tumour growth.
One of these processes involves Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), which the study revealed is suppressed in a subset of glioblastomas and that EGFR is turned off because of how DNA is organised in the cancer cell.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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