Approximately 85% of women who are diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer die. In order to shrink the tumor, patients may undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy before undergoing surgery. According to a study published in OncoTarget, high expression levels of the proteins HGF and cMET are found in women with ovarian cancer who did not benefit from chemotherapy prior to surgery.
Marisa Mariani, PhD, and colleagues looked at potential markers of chemotherapy resistance at the gene expression and microRNA level, and after that, they validated these markers of interest at the protein level.
The researchers studied tumor samples from patients with ovarian cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and found numerous prevalent microRNAs, which revealed their ability to survive chemotherapy. MiR-193a-5p was the most significant microRNA, and the genes HGF and cMET target the microRNA significantly.
The highest levels of HGF and cMET were found in patients who relapsed after neoadjuvant chemotherapy while the lowest expression levels were found in patients who responded the best to treatment.
Senior author Christiano Ferlini, MD, PhD, said that when neoadjuvant chemotherapy has no effect, then it would be too late to perform surgery since the cancer has progressed. This discovery can prevent patients from undergoing unnecessary treatment.
Researchers from the Danbury Hospital Biomedical Research Institute have discovered that high expression levels of two proteins — HGF and c-MET — are present in women with ovarian cancer who did not benefit from undergoing tumor-shrinking chemotherapy therapy prior to having surgery to remove their tumor.
Marisa Mariani, PhD, of Danbury Hospital Biomedical Research Institute, and colleagues, who published their results in OncoTarget, made this discovery using a two-pronged approach that first explored possible markers of chemotherapy resistance at the microRNA and gene expression level, and then validated any markers of interest at the protein level.