Moffitt researchers identify unique immune gene signature across thousands of patients' solid tumors

October 25, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have discovered a unique immune gene signature that can predict the presence of microscopic lymph node-like structures in metastatic melanoma. The presence of these immune structures, the researchers said, appears to be associated with better survival and may indicate the possibility of selecting patients for immunotherapy based solely on the immune-related makeup of their tumors as an approach to personalized medicine.

The study appears in Scientific Reports, a journal from Nature Publishing Group.

In this study, the researchers analyzed a 12-chemokine across nearly 15,000 distinct solid tumors of different types, including . Chemokines are powerful immune system molecules known to be important in lymph node formation and function during development. The 12- gene expression signature was found to remarkably predict the presence of microscopic lymph node-like structures within some melanomas and was also associated with better overall survival of these patients.

The researchers speculate that the lymph nodal structures they identified are active and playing an important positive role in a self-elicited (endogenous) anti- – initially locally and then systemically. They also anticipate that their findings in melanoma may extend to other solid tumors, such as those of colorectal, lung and ovarian origin.

"We believe this gene expression signature reveals information on a unique anti-tumor response mechanism within the microenvironment of certain patient solid tumors, which may be their Achilles' heel to make them unusually responsive to immunotherapy and possibly lead to improved patient survival," explained the study's senior author, James J. Mulé, Ph.D., associate center director of Translational Research at Moffitt.

Explore further: Researchers creating "designer lymph nodes"

More information: www.nature.com/srep/2012/12102 … 65/pdf/srep00765.pdf

Related Stories

Researchers creating "designer lymph nodes"

April 29, 2012
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center are in the first phase of creating "designer lymph nodes." Designer lymph nodes are built with specialized gene-modified cells that are injected into patients and produce a pre-planned ...

Sentinel node biopsy safe, effective in head and neck melanomas

August 5, 2011
A common technique for determining whether melanoma has spread can be used safely and effectively even in tumors from the head and neck area, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Immune responses can be generated locally within human melanoma skin metastases

July 31, 2012
In many types of cancer, activated immune cells infiltrate the tumor and influence clinical outcome. It is not always clear where these cells are activated, but results reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the American ...

Researchers study childhood melanoma characteristics

September 7, 2012
Melanoma, newly diagnosed in more than 76,000 Americans in 2011, is the most common and dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma is rare in children, accounting for 1 to 4 percent of all melanoma cases and just 3 percent of ...

New guidelines issued for biopsy use in melanoma patients

July 9, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Sentinel lymph node biopsy -- a minimally invasive surgical technique that lets doctors see whether cancer has spread -- should be performed on patients with melanoma tumors of intermediate thickness and may ...

Systemic tumor disappearance following local radiation treatment reported in metastatic melanoma patient

March 7, 2012
A rarely seen phenomenon in cancer patients — in which focused radiation to the site of one tumor is associated with the disappearance of metastatic tumors all over the body — has been reported in a patient with ...

Recommended for you

A math concept from the engineering world points to a way of making massive transcriptome studies more efficient

November 17, 2017
To most people, data compression refers to shrinking existing data—say from a song or picture's raw digital recording—by removing some data, but not so much as to render it unrecognizable (think MP3 or JPEG files). Now, ...

Genetic mutation in extended Amish family in Indiana protects against aging and increases longevity (Update)

November 15, 2017
The first genetic mutation that appears to protect against multiple aspects of biological aging in humans has been discovered in an extended family of Old Order Amish living in the vicinity of Berne, Indiana, report Northwestern ...

Genetic variant prompts cells to store fat, fueling obesity

November 13, 2017
Obesity is often attributed to a simple equation: People are eating too much and exercising too little. But evidence is growing that at least some of the weight gain that plagues modern humans is predetermined. New research ...

Discovering a protein's role in gene expression

November 10, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered that a protein called BRWD2/PHIP binds to histone lysine 4 (H3K4) methylation—a key molecular event that influences gene expression—and demonstrated that it does so via ...

Twin study finds genetics affects where children look, shaping mental development

November 9, 2017
A new study co-led by Indiana University that tracked the eye movement of twins finds that genetics plays a strong role in how people attend to their environment.

Boy with rare disease gets brand new skin with gene therapy

November 8, 2017
Doctors treating a critically ill boy with a devastating skin disease used experimental gene therapy to create an entirely new skin for most of his body in a desperate attempt to save his life.

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.