Results may help explain age- and sex-related differences seen in non-small cell lung cancer

-- Eric Metcalf

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 (Last Updated: 02/10/2010)

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), particular oncogenic pathway activation profiles are associated with recurrence-free survival, and these profiles vary depending on the age and gender of the individual, according to research published in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

William Mostertz, of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues analyzed data from 787 patients with mostly early-stage NSCLC. The patients were divided into groups by sex and age. Tumor samples were assessed using gene expression signatures, and five-year recurrence-free survival was used as the end point.

The researchers found that, among women, high-risk patients with the shortest recurrence-free survival showed greater activation of invasiveness and STAT3 pathways compared to low-risk women, while high-risk men demonstrated increased activation of the STAT3, tumor necrosis factor, EGFR and wound healing pathways. Among patients younger than 70 years, high-risk patients had increased activation of Src and tumor necrosis factor pathways, while high-risk patients 70 years and older revealed increased activation of the wound healing and invasiveness pathways.

"We believe our findings represent a novel approach to defining clinically relevant cohorts of NSCLC stratified by age and sex that are enriched for specific pathway activity and that would be more apt for therapeutic intervention when planning clinical trials with drugs that target specific pathway-related abnormalities (e.g., Src, PI3Kinase, Wnt) or tumor biology (e.g., STAT3, TNF, angiogenesis, invasiveness)," the authors write.

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Internal Medicine
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OBGYN & Women's Health

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