(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Newly identified genes will provide diagnostic targets for identification of ovarian cancer subtypes, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. The study, entitled “Genes with Bimodal Expression Are Robust Diagnostic Targets that Define Distinct Subtypes of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer with Different Overall Survival” will be published in the May issue of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics; the abstract is currently available online.

The main hypothesis of this research is that there are clinically relevant molecular switch genes in epithelial ovarian malignant tumors. Testing this hypothesis involved the use of a bimodal discovery algorithm to a publicly available ovarian cancer expression microarray data set, GSE9891 [285 tumors: 246 malignant serous (MS), 20 endometrioid (EM), and 18 low malignant potential (LMP) ovarian carcinomas].

“Genes with robust bimodal expression patterns were identified across all ovarian tumor types and also within selected subtypes: 73 bimodal genes demonstrated differential expression between LMP versus MS and EM; 22 bimodal genes distinguished MS from EM; and 14 genes had significant association with survival among MS tumors,” the authors wrote. “When these genes were combined into a single survival score, the median survival for patients with a favorable versus unfavorable score was 65 vs. 29 months (P<0.0001, hazard ratio=0.4221).”

Continue Reading

The authors concluded: “Genes with bimodal expression patterns not only define clinically relevant molecular subtypes of ovarian carcinoma but also provide ideal targets for translation into the clinical laboratory.”