Scientists Discover New Prognostic Markers For Ovarian Cancer

A research group at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute employed 2 different approaches on data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas, to identify prognostic genes in ovarian cancer.

Cancer researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have identified 2independent classes of novel candidate prognostic markers for ovarian cancer, advancing efforts to develop targeted therapies for the disease. The findings resulted from 2separate studies published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE and based on data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, the world's largest public database on gene expression in different tumor types.

The first study establishes an association of this often-deadly cancer with the immune system and clarified the role of a class of immunogenic tumor antigens known as cancer testis antigens, and the second reports new evidence that certain molecular interactions influence ovarian cancer prognosis. In context with recent evidence that the immune system can potently inhibit the growth of cancer cells, these novel findings may enable development of a new strategy for identifying those patients most likely to benefit from particular targeted therapies.

"There is a lot of interest right now in what to do with the human genome," says Kevin Eng, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at RPCI who was first author on both studies. "We are focused on finding the gene or combination of genes that are going to predict how long a woman's ovarian cancer is going to remain in remission or what treatment is best for her cancer."

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