WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Chromosome instability within lung cancer tumors increases the risk of recurrence or death and may help forecast recurrence long before standard tests, according to a study published online April 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature.
Mariam Jamal-Hanjani, M.D., Ph.D., from the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence in the United Kingdom, and colleagues collected tumor samples from 100 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer who had not previously received systemic therapy. They sequenced and analyzed 327 tumor regions to define evolutionary histories, obtain a census of clonal and subclonal events, and assess the relationship between intratumor heterogeneity and recurrence-free survival.
The researchers found that patients with a high proportion of unstable chromosomes in their tumors had an increased risk of recurrence or death within two years (hazard ratio, 4.9). They also found that blood tests for chromosome instability could identify patients at high risk for relapse up to a year before imaging could confirm recurrence.
The study offers “new insights into how tumors evolve and evade treatment, a leading cause of cancer death,” lead researcher Charles Swanton, M.D., Ph.D., of the Francis Crick Institute in London, said in a news release. “We believe that this invaluable data generated during TRACERx will be seized upon by research teams across the world, helping us to answer more questions about lung cancer biology. We’ve only scraped the surface in terms of what is possible by looking at tumor evolution in such detail.”
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