Patient Stratification Based on Gene Expression Analysis Can Improve Understanding of Tumor Prognosis, Treatment Response in Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Messenger RNA sequencing technology more accurately stratifies patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma based on individual tumor biology, supporting its use as an important clinical tool, a study published in the March 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings reported.

The investigators analyzed full transcriptome sequencing for ten matched tumor and normal tissue samples from patients with previously untreated oropharyngeal carcinoma using massively parallel messenger RNA sequencing.

When global gene expression levels were compared in samples grouped by smoking status and human papillomavirus status, tumor tissue from former smokers were found to be grouped more closely to never smokers than current smokers. “Pathway analysis revealed alterations in the expression of genes involved in the p53 DNA damage-repair pathway, including CHEK2 and ATR, which display patterns of increased expression that is associated with human papillomavirus–negative current smokers rather than former or never smokers,” the investigators wrote.

Ultimately, such stratification will improve understanding of tumor prognosis and treatment response and lead to individualized patient care strategies.

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