publication date: Aug. 30, 2014

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TCGA Researchers Discover Stomach Cancer
Falls Into Four Distinct Molecular Subtypes

Researchers with The Cancer Genome Atlas Network found that stomach cancers fall into four distinct molecular subtypes.

Previous attempts to examine the clinical characteristics of gastric cancer were hindered by how differently cancer cells can look under a microscope, even when from the same tumor. Researchers say the new classification system can serve as a valuable adjunct to the current pathology classification system, which has two categories: diffuse and intestinal.

The researchers identified the new subgroups through complex statistical analyses of molecular data from 295 tumors. They used six molecular analysis platforms including DNA sequencing, RNA sequencing, and protein arrays. The study was published in Nature.

“A key advance with this project is that we have identified and developed a much more useful classification system to find groups of gastric cancer that have distinct molecular features, and at the same time, we also identified key targets to pursue in different groups of patients,” said Adam Bass, of Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and one of the lead investigators on the project.

Tumors in the first group, which represented 9 percent of the tumors, were positive for Epstein-Barr virus and had several other molecular commonalities.

Tumors in a second subgroup, accounting for 22 percent of the tumors, had high microsatellite instability, which is the tendency for mutations to accumulate in repeated sequences of DNA.

The remaining subgroups differed in the level of somatic copy number alterations, which can result from duplication or deletion of sections of the genome. The tumors in the third subgroup, which comprised 20 percent … Continue reading CCL August – Stomach Cancer

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