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

Scientists provide insight into genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders

July 21, 2017
A study by scientists at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) is providing insight into the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders. In this research, the first mouse model of a mutation ...

Scientists identify new way cells turn off genes

July 19, 2017
Cells have more than one trick up their sleeve for controlling certain genes that regulate fetal growth and development.

South Asian genomes could be boon for disease research, scientists say

July 18, 2017
The Indian subcontinent's massive population is nearing 1.5 billion according to recent accounts. But that population is far from monolithic; it's made up of nearly 5,000 well-defined sub-groups, making the region one of ...

Mutant yeast reveals details of the aberrant genomic machinery of children's high-grade gliomas

July 18, 2017
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital biologists have used engineered yeast cells to discover how a mutation that is frequently found in pediatric brain tumor high-grade glioma triggers a cascade of genomic malfunctions.

Late-breaking mutations may play an important role in autism

July 17, 2017
A study of nearly 6,000 families, combining three genetic sequencing technologies, finds that mutations that occur after conception play an important role in autism. A team led by investigators at Boston Children's Hospital ...

Newly discovered gene variants link innate immunity and Alzheimer's disease

July 17, 2017
Three new gene variants, found in a genome wide association study of Alzheimer's disease (AD), point to the brain's immune cells in the onset of the disorder. These genes encode three proteins that are found in microglia, ...

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.