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Relapse-related molecular signature for lung adenocarcinoma

Posted Jul 15 2009 12:00am

I came across an intriguing study in J Clin Oncol (link to abstract) where a group from Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan have developed a genetic signature to identify patients with lung adenocarcinoma with a high probability of relapse.  They analyzed whole-genome expression profiles in 117 lung adenocarcinoma specimens using microarrays and identified a relapse-related molecular signature based on 82 probes on a training set of 60 patients specimens.  This signature was then validated with several independent data sets.  The most interesting subset is 30 stage 1 patients who underwent surgery and were sorted into high- and low-risk for relapse; the high-risk group all relapsed and died within the 5 year follow-up period.

This is one of numerous (and markedly disparate) recent lung cancer studies identifying various "signatures" and is obviously a small study that needs large-scale prospective validation.  But I think is intriguing because it identifies early stage 1 patients with an hitherto unexpected poor prognosis.  The same group concurrently has a paper in Cancer Res (link to abstract)(which I have not yet read in its entir) but, according to the abstract, uses something called connectivity map (C-MAP) analysis to link poor prognosis with pathways converging on mTOR--which could have implications regarding potential therapeutic agents targeting the mTOR pathway currently being studied.

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