Browsing by Subject "biolääketiede"

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  • Junnila, Siina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Due to lack of early symptoms, gastric cancer is characterized by late stage diagnosis and unsatisfactory options for curative treatment. Several genomic alterations have been identified in gastric cancer, but the major factors contributing to initiation and progression of gastric cancer remain poorly known. Gene copy number alterations play a key role in the development of gastric cancer, and a change in gene copy number is one of the fundamental mechanisms for a cancer cell to control the expression of potential oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. This thesis aims at clarifying the complex genomic alterations of gastric cancer to identify novel molecular biomarkers for diagnostic purposes as well as for targeted treatment. To highlight genes of potential biological and clinical relevance, we carried out a systematic microarray-based survey of gene expression and copy number levels in primary gastric tumors and gastric cancer cell lines. Results were validated using immunohistochemistry, real-time qRT-PCR, and affinity capture-based transcript (TRAC) assay. Altogether 192 clinical gastric tissue samples and 7 gastric cancer cell lines were included in this study. Multiple chromosomal regions with recurrent copy number alterations were detected. The most frequent chromosomal alterations included gains at 7q, 8q, 17q, 19q, and 20q and losses at 9p, 18q, and 21q. Distinctive patterns of copy number alterations were detected for different histological subtypes (intestinal and diffuse) and for cancers located in different parts of the stomach. The impact of copy number alterations on gene expression was significant, as 6-10% of genes located in the regions of gains and losses also showed concomitant alterations in their expression. By combining the information from the DNA- and RNA-level analyses many novel gastric cancer-related genes, such as ALPK2, ENAH, HHIPL2, and OSMR, were identified. Independent genome-wide gene expression analysis of Finnish and Japanese gastric tumors revealed an additional set of genes that was differentially expressed in cancerous gastric tissues compared with normal tissue. Overexpression of one of these genes, CXCL1, was associated with an improved survival of gastric cancer. Thus, using an integrative microarray analysis, several novel genes were identified that may be critically important for gastric carcinogenesis. Further studies of these genes may lead to novel biomarkers for gastric cancer diagnosis and targeted therapy.