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Nature Genetics: Article on huge leap in neuroblastomo research with support of project C1

July 6, 2015 18:20

Huge progress on understanding neuroblastoma tumors

Treatment of children with cancer has seen a lot of improvements in recent years. Major concern of doctors is the recurrence of tumors, often leading to worse treatment results. Researchers of the collaborative research center together with national and international colleagues now investigated differences in the genetic expressions of tumors in several different stadiums.

A current model of tumorigenesis implies that a collection of cascaded mutational events occur and that it therefore is critical to identify relevant events to better understand mechanisms underlying disease progression. For discovery, integrated analysis of high dimensional data is a key technology, which is however very challenging because of computational and statistical issues. In our work, we developed and applied an integrated data analysis technique, focusing on differences between primary (at diagnosis) and recurrent neuroblastoma cancer patients, profiled with whole-exome sequencing, mRNA expression, array CGH and DNA methylation data. Our analysis discovered characteristics of evolutionary dynamics in neuroblastoma, along with new mutational changes in relapse patients. Our results showed that this type of analysis is a promising approach to detect genetic and epigenetic changes in cancer evolution.

Research on this topic has been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and supported by the Deutsche Konsortium für translationale Krebsforschung (DKTK) and the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR).

An interview with a project leader, Sangkyun Lee, has been published on the TU Dortmund homepage.


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