Study paints genetic portrait of lung cancer

first_imgAninternational team of scientists today announced the results of asystematic effort to map the genetic changes underlying lung cancer,the world’s leading cause of cancer deaths. Appearing in the November 4advance online issue of the journal Nature, the research provides acomprehensive view of the abnormal genetic landscape in lung cancercells, revealing more than 50 genomic regions that are frequentlygained or lost in human lung tumors. While one-third of these regionscontain genes already known to play important roles in lung cancer, themajority harbor new genes yet to be discovered. Flowing from this work,the scientists uncovered a critical gene alteration — not previouslylinked to any form of cancer — that is implicated in a significantfraction of lung cancer cases, shedding light on the biological basisof the disease and a potential new target for therapy.An essential foundation “Thisview of the lung cancer genome is unprecedented, both in its breadthand depth,” said senior author Matthew Meyerson, a senior associatemember of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and an associateprofessor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.“It lays an essential foundation, and has already pinpointed animportant gene that controls the growth of lung cells. This informationoffers crucial inroads to the biology of lung cancer and will helpshape new strategies for cancer diagnosis and therapy.” “Thegenomic landscape of lung cancer gives us a systematic picture of thisterrible disease, confirming things we know, but also pointing us tomany missing pieces of the puzzle,” said Eric Lander, one of thestudy’s co-authors and the founding director of the Broad Institute ofMIT and Harvard. “More broadly, the study represents a general approachthat can and should be used to analyze all types of cancer. Indeed, thestudy was designed as a pilot project for an even more comprehensiveeffort to unearth the genetic causes of cancer.”Leading cause of death worldwide Lung canceris the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide — each year more than 1million people die of the disease, including more than 150,000 in theUnited States. New approaches to treatment rely on a deeperunderstanding of what goes wrong in cells to spur cancer growth.Through decades of research, it has become clear that lung cancer —like most human cancers — stems mainly from DNA changes that accrue incells throughout a person’s life. But the nature of these changes andtheir biological consequences remain largely unknown.Toassemble a genome-wide catalog of genetic differences in lung cancercells, a large-scale project was recently launched in lungadenocarcinoma. The effort, known as the Tumor Sequencing Project(TSP), unites scientists and clinicians throughout the cancer researchcommunity.The TSP researchers studied more than 500 tumorspecimens from lung cancer patients. Access to this large collection ofhigh-quality samples made it possible to determine the genetic changesshared among different patients — such recurring changes can highlightimportant genes involved in cancer growth. “This project was madepossible through the foresight of a dedicated group of oncologists,pathologists, and surgeons, who carefully and diligently preservedtissues from lung cancer patients over many years,” said Meyerson.Toanalyze DNA from each lung tumor, the scientists relied on recentgenomic technologies to scan the human genome for hundreds of thousandsof genetic markers, called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs.This high-resolution view helped pinpoint which parts of the tumorgenome were present in excess copies or missing altogether. The regionsof genomic aberration were then identified with new analytical tools,including a computational method called GISTIC and methods forvisualizing SNP data developed by co-first authors Gaddy Getz andBarbara Weir and co-authors Rameen Beroukhim and Jim Robinson. Fromthis work, the researchers uncovered a total of 57 genomic changes thatoccur frequently in lung cancer patients. Of these, only about 15 arelinked to genes previously known to be involved in lung adenocarcinoma.The rest, though, remain to be discovered. Strikingly, themost common abnormality identified in the Nature study involves aregion on chromosome 14 that encompasses two known genes, neither ofwhich had been previously associated with cancer. Through additionalstudies in cancer cells, co-first author Sue-Ann Woo and otherresearchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute revealed that one of thegenes, NKX2.1, influences cancer cell growth. The NKX2.1 gene normallyacts as a sort of “master regulator” — controlling the activity ofother key genes — in a special group of cells lining the lungs’ tinyair sacs, called alveoli. This discovery, that a gene functioning in aselect group of cells rather than all cells can promote cancer growth,may have broad implications for the design of novel, molecularlytargeted cancer drugs.The second phase of the TSP, nowunderway, will examine the same lung tumor samples analyzed in thefirst phase, but at an even greater level of genetic detail. Usinghigh-throughput DNA sequencing methods, the scientists willcharacterize small changes in the genetic code of several hundred humangenes, which are already implicated in other cancers or more generallyin cell growth.Large-scale collaborationParticipating institutions in the TSP includethree large-scale DNA sequencing centers — Baylor College of Medicine,Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Washington University — and sixmedical institutions— Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber CancerInstitute, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering CancerCenter, the University of Michigan, and Washington University. Investigators from Nagoya City University, the Ontario CancerInstitute/Princess Margaret Hospital, and the University ofTexas-Southwestern Medical School also participated in the SNP study. Inaddition to Matthew Meyerson and Eric Lander, the scientific leaders ofthe TSP include Harold Varmus of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering CancerCenter, Richard Gibbs of the Baylor College of Medicine, and RichardWilson of Washington University in Saint Louis. The TSP ishelping to lay the foundation for future large-scale cancer genomeprojects, including The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pilot project. InDecember 2005, the National Human Genome Research Institute and theNational Cancer Institute launched the TCGA pilot to test thefeasibility of a comprehensive, systematic approach to exploring thegenomics of a wide range of common human cancers. In its pilot phase,TCGA is focusing on glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form ofbrain cancer; ovarian cancer; and squamous cell lung cancer.Data accessAll data generated by the TSP are being made available to the scientific community in public databases, including: Data can also be accessed through the Broad Institute website, at: read more

Dog Adorably Jumps Double Dutch Ropes Being Turned by Two Other Dogs and a Human

first_imgClick To Share The Pawesome Video With Your Friends – Photo by Ryan YoungAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreSome dogs can play dead; other dogs can fetch toys; but what about a dog jumping double dutch rope?In a video that was uploaded by Ryan Young, a reporter for SEC country covering the Florida Gators basketball team, a dog named Scruffy takes the stage for a halftime show.WATCH: Daily Dose of Cute – Dachshund Shows Off Skills by Maneuvering Maze of Plastic Water BottlesWhile Scruffy’s human holds the ends of two jump ropes, two additional canine companions are in charge of the other ends of the ropes.Though Scruffy bungles his first attempt at double dutch, he nails the performance the second time around – and the crowd goes wild.Young posted the video with a caption reading: “They say no cheering on press row, but I was really rooting for Scruffy to nail the second attempt. Awesome.”(WATCH the video below)last_img read more

Pelicans massacred in cold weather

first_img RelatedPELICANS IN PERILResponse team again rescues dozens of birds from highway By DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] Another cold front hit the area this week, bringing with it potentially life threatening conditions for the Laguna Madre’s brown pelican populations. But, unlike the winter of 2016, where over 70 of the birds…January 19, 2018In “News”Pelican Peril: 40 birds die after cold front blasts inBy DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] An unseasonably fierce cold front led to the death of approximately 40 brown pelicans on Highway 48 Monday evening, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported. The front, which dropped temperatures to lows not normally seen until November, brought with it strong winds…October 19, 2018In “News”Writer’s Block: Bah, Humbug!By DINA ARÉVALO Port Isabel-South Padre Press [email protected] ‘Tis the season for making merry and bright. The lights are all aglow, the halls have been decked with boughs of holly and all should be jolly, right? Well, almost. If you’ll allow me a little latitude to be a bit of a…December 14, 2018In “Editor’s Column” By DINA ARÉVALOPort Isabel-South Padre [email protected] driving along Highway 48 during the last cold snap may have noticed a gruesome scene: the sight of dozens of brown pelican carcasses littering the road near the Bahia Grande.The weather system’s strong winds, combined with the unique topography of the highway and its retaining walls led to many of the local birds to succumbing to dangerous downdrafts which forced them into the roadway where they were struck by passing vehicles.It’s not an uncommon occurrence, according to South Padre Island resident Tommy J. Saenz Wednesday. But uncommon doesn’t mean inevitable. “This is a preventable problem. We can solve it; we can fix it,” he said. “I don’t want to see another slaughter.”Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here. Sharelast_img read more

Turnaround: Real Madrid beat Barça for Lautaro Martinez

first_imgSurprisingly, Lautaro Martinez could end up at Real Madrid, despite being wanted by Barcelona for months.Sport Mediaset reported that the agent of the striker of “Inter” has agreed his personal terms with the Spanish champion.It is an annual salary of 8 million euros. There was also information that Inter had accepted an offer of 100m euros. Meanwhile, Belgian striker Eden Hazard will miss Real’s first match of the new season in La Liga. He complains of an ankle injury and has no chance of recovering until Sunday, when the team is a guest of Real (Sociedad).last_img