Gene helps predict which ovarian cancer sufferers will benefit most from chemotherapy

September 19, 2012
Gene helps predict which women with ovarian cancer will benefit most from chemotherapy

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from the University of Dundee have discovered that measuring how active a gene is could predict which women with ovarian cancer will benefit from platinum-based chemotherapy drugs - a common treatment for the disease.

The team, based at the University's School of Medicine, have found that a gene called FGF1 is highly active in aggressive, advanced ovarian cancers, and it is found at higher levels in cancer cells that are resistant to platinum chemotherapy treatments, such as and .

As a result, women with high levels of FGF1 are less likely to respond to these drugs and have a poorer prognosis. The research, funded by Cancer Research UK and the Scottish Funding Council, is published online in the on Wednesday, September 19.

The researchers also found that FGF1 activity increases after ovarian cancer cells become drug resistant. By blocking FGF1 in resistant to platinum drugs, the scientists were able to make them sensitive to chemotherapy again.

Dr Gillian Smith, one of the researchers involved in the study, said, "We're excited by these results because they identify potential ways that ovarian cancer builds resistance to common over time.

"Our study paves the way for the development of new tests to determine if chemotherapy will work and suggests that drugs targeting FGF1 could be effective new treatments for a group of women with a type of ovarian cancer that is difficult to treat successfully."

The researchers measured amounts of a variety of genes in 187 ovarian cancer patients and found each cancer had a unique range of active genes. But, FGF1 appeared to playing the greatest role in determining how cancers behave.

The FGF1 gene encourages cancers to grow a , helping to fuel the tumour's growth.

Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said, "Ovarian cancer is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage where surgery is difficult and the disease has spread.

"The current approaches to treatment are limited - not all women respond to chemotherapy and there is no way of telling who will benefit most. This research is a step towards addressing the urgent need to develop tests that can tell us more about each woman's and help personalise treatment to save more lives."

Explore further: Evolving ovarian cancer cells 'dodge' treatment with chemotherapy

More information: Smith G., et al  Individuality in FGF1 expression significantly influences platinum resistance and progression free survival in ovarian cancer (2012) British Journal of Cancer.

Related Stories

Evolving ovarian cancer cells 'dodge' treatment with chemotherapy

December 20, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that the commonest type of ovarian cancer evolves at a startling rate, which may allow cancer cells to ‘dodge’ the current standard treatment, reveals ...

Researchers investigate drug resistant ovarian cancer to improve clinical treatment

August 9, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- A new study by TCD researchers investigates drug-resistant ovarian cancer cells. The findings which have been recently published in the international publication, PLoS One will increase understanding of ...

Tiny genetic variation can predict ovarian cancer outcome

December 5, 2011
Yale Cancer Center researchers have shown that a tiny genetic variation predicts chances of survival and response to treatment for patients with ovarian cancer.

Targeted testing offers treatment hope for ovarian cancer patients

May 31, 2011
Women with ovarian cancer could be helped by a new test that identifies the specific type of tumour they have, a conference will hear this week.

Experimental drug inhibits cell signaling pathway and slows ovarian cancer growth

April 15, 2011
An experimental drug that blocks two points of a crucial cancer cell signaling pathway inhibits the growth of ovarian cancer cells and significantly increases survival in an ovarian cancer mouse model, a study at UCLA's Jonsson ...

Role of known cancer gene in ovarian cancer investigated

February 14, 2012
The role of a known cancer-causing gene in the development of the most lethal type of ovarian cancer is being investigated by researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute after they were awarded a Cure Cancer Australia ...

Recommended for you

Researchers unravel novel mechanism by which tumors grow resistant to radiotherapy

November 23, 2017
A Ludwig Cancer Research study has uncovered a key mechanism by which tumors develop resistance to radiation therapy and shown how such resistance might be overcome with drugs that are currently under development. The discovery ...

African Americans face highest risk for multiple myeloma yet underrepresented in research

November 23, 2017
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent, according to a study ...

Encouraging oxygen's assault on iron may offer new way to kill lung cancer cells

November 22, 2017
Blocking the action of a key protein frees oxygen to damage iron-dependent proteins in lung and breast cancer cells, slowing their growth and making them easier to kill. This is the implication of a study led by researchers ...

One-size treatment for blood cancer probably doesn't fit all, researchers say

November 22, 2017
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent, according to a study ...

One in four U.S. seniors with cancer has had it before

November 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—For a quarter of American seniors, a cancer diagnosis signals the return of an old foe, new research shows.

Combination immunotherapy targets cancer resistance

November 22, 2017
Cancer immunotherapy drugs have had notable but limited success because in many cases, tumors develop resistance to treatment. But researchers at Yale and Stanford have identified an experimental antibody that overcomes this ...

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.