New findings provide more complete picture of kidney cancer

December 29, 2011

Two recent studies by Van Andel Research Institute scientists are providing a foundation for a more complete understanding of distinct kidney cancer subtypes, which could pave the way for better treatments.

In a study published in Cancer Cell led by Kyle Furge, Ph.D. and Aikseng Ooi, Ph.D., researchers provide a more complete understanding of the biology of Type 2 papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC2), an aggressive type of with no effective treatment, which lays the foundation for the development of effective .

Despite obvious morphological, genetic, and clinical differences, hereditary PRCC2 is thought to share similar pathway deregulation due to genetic mutation with its counterpart, clear cell (CCRCC), a subtype that accounts for 75% of all kidney cancers and that, unlike PRCC2, responds favorably to drugs targeting (VEGF), a signal protein produced by cells that stimulate .

The study, which included international collaboration with researchers from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Génétique Oncologique EPFE-INSERM U753 and Faculté de Médecine Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre and Institut de Cancérologie Gustave Roussy, Michigan State University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Singapore General Hospital, and The Wistar Institute, identified deregulation of the KEAP1-NRF2 signaling pathway as a factor that distinguishes PRCC2 from CCRCC, but links both hereditary and sporadic PRCC2.

In another study published in Cancer Research, led by Yan Ding, Ph.D., and Bin Tean Teh, Ph.D. and carried out in collaboration with the National Cancer Centre Singapore, researchers integrated gene expression profiling and RNAi screening data to identify genes involved in CCRCC development and progression.

In recent years, several molecularly targeted therapies such as sunitinib, sorafenib, and pazopanib, which target the receptor tyrosine kinases of VEGF have been approved for CCRCC. Although these therapies significantly extend overall survival, nearly all patients with advanced CCRCC eventually succumb to the disease.

Gene set enrichment analysis indicated that cell-cycle-related genes, in particular PLK1, were associated with disease aggressiveness. Further, the association of PLK1 in both disease aggression and in vitro growth prompted researchers to examine the effects of a small-molecule inhibitor in CCRCC cell lines. Their findings highlight PLK1 as a promising potential therapeutic target for CCRCC.

Explore further: Mutations in the genome regulation machinery identified in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Related Stories

New findings may help patients with deadly kidney cancer

February 18, 2010

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) researchers have found a way to reverse resistance to sunitinib, a treatment that is currently the first line of defense against clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), a deadly form of ...

Researchers find genetic secrets to common kidney cancer

May 18, 2010

By examining expression of every human gene in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) compared to normal kidney cells, researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida have discovered gene signatures they say explain much ...

Researchers find gene they believe is key to kidney cancer

May 20, 2010

Researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida have discovered a key gene that, when turned off, promotes the development of common kidney cancer. Their findings suggest that a combination of agents now being tested in other ...

Research provides new kidney cancer clues

January 19, 2011

Researchers have identified a gene that is mutated in one in three patients with the most common form of renal cancer. The identification of a frequently mutated gene will provide new insights into the biology of the disease. ...

Recommended for you

Molecularly shutting down cancer cachexia

August 30, 2016

Healthy fat tissue is essential for extended survival in the event of tumor-induced wasting syndrome (cachexia). In Nature Medicine, researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München show that selective manipulation of an enzyme ...

Radiologists detect breast cancer in 'blink of an eye'

August 29, 2016

A new study by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital in collaboration with researchers at the University of York and Leeds in the UK and MD Andersen Cancer Center in Texas puts to the test anecdotes about experienced ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.