- Researchers from The
University of Cambridge aim to identify genes associated with metabolic
pathways of cancer progression.
- Genes associated with OXPHOS
pathways found to be linked to cancer progression and
- 8161 solid tumor and non-cancerous samples
Dr. Christian Frezza and
colleagues from The Medical Research Council of The University of Cambridge
have identified gene signatures that are associated with metabolism which
correlates with poor prognosis of
patients. This study will
revolutionize cancer progression assessment and will equip physicians and
oncologists with greater insight for better treatment and care.
in the body depends on certain metabolic changes that
occur in the cell and which provide the cancer cells with the energy to grow
and to replicate.
‘Mitochondrial pathways could hold the key for cancer metastasis’
There are two types of
genes that contribute to the growth of tumor cells, tumor suppressor genes and
oncogenes. Tumor suppressor genes undergo a silencing mutation that prevents
them from suppressing the growth of tumors.
Oncogenes promote the
growth of cancers and have been associated with many cancers. These genes are
associated with the origination of cancer while the scientists in the study
examined the underlying factors for disease progression.
Scientists in the
current study aimed at identifying the genes that play an important role in
metabolic pathways that transform normal cells into cancerous cells. An insight
into these genes will aid in understanding the steps involved in cancer growth and the pathways that lead to the progression of cancer.
The study leader Dr.
Christian Frezza and colleague Edoardo Gaude studied metabolic genes of 8161 solid
tumors and non-cancer samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas.
metabolism is known to be a key part of cancer progression. In our work we used
data on patient's prognosis to identify a genetic signature related to
metabolism that correlated with poor clinical outcome. Using this information,
it could be possible in the future to tailor treatments specific to patients.
This genetic signature also gives a new target for the development of drugs
that could prevent a cancer from spreading throughout the body,"added Dr
The genes associated
with OXPHOS pathway, which is a pathway in the mitochondria of the cell and is
involved in energy production and associated with diabetes and obesity.
However, the researchers in this study found that these genes could be used to
predict the prognosis of
The genes associated with the OXPHOS pathway are
down-regulated in patients with poor cancer prognosis.
: The suppression of the genes associated with OXPHOS
pathway is an indication of poorer prognosis of cancer as it leads to
"The work will
inform future patient stratification efforts and demonstrates the important
links between metabolism and cancer. Further validation of this work may allow
us to predict with greater accuracy a patient's long term survival and design a
treatment strategy personalized to improve their chances of living
longer," said Dr. Adam Babbs, MRC's Program Manager for Research.
- The study found an initial association between the
genes associated with OXPHOS pathway and cancer prognosis.
- The study highlights the significance of mitochondrial
function in metastasis and cancer progression.
- It provides
a new line of study for further research and new targets for therapy.
- Tumor Progression and Metastasis -
- Decreased expression of genes involved in oxidative
phosphorylation in human pancreatic islets from patients with type 2
diabetes - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178933/)