Stomach Cancer Genes Identified

Genetic sequencing gastric adenocarcinoma FAT4 ARID1A

(RxWiki News) Cheap computing power allows even bigger fishing expeditions looking for relationships between your genes and cancer. Finding unknown cellular pathways may hold the answer to therapies of the future.

A large computer-based analysis from Duke University's Singapore campus analyzed genetics of fifteen cancer samples to find a broad array of all genes implicated in gastric cancer.

Over 600 genes were identified that were previously unknown to have any association with gastric cancer.

"Ask your oncologist about genotyping your cancer."

The joint effort by three research groups associated with Duke University described two genes known as FAT4 and ARID1A, which are mutated in as many as one in 12 cases of stomach cancer.

Further lab experiments backed up this conclusion, showing that these genes significantly alter the growth of stomach cancer cells.

"Our study is one of the first gastric cancer studies to investigate the vast majority of human genes at the single nucleotide level," said co-author Teh Bin Tean, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Translational Research Laboratory in Singapore.

Although stomach cancer is relatively rare in the United States, genetic markers for the disease are particularly important. This cancer can develop silently, without symptoms appearing until very late in the progression of the disease.

This research builds on the foundation of knowledge of genetic interactions that will be used for categorizing genetic susceptibility to cancer, as well as pharmaceutical research into specific gene-based therapies for cancer.

The study appeared online on April 8, 2012 in Nature Genetics.

Funding information and financial disclosures were not readily available.

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Review Date: 
April 9, 2012