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A Predictive Model for Drug Response?

By Samantha Bussell / Mar 03, 2017

With an incident rate of 55,000 diagnosed cases per year, thyroid cancer is becoming the fastest-growing cancer type in the United States. Like other tumor classifications, genetic abnormalities and mutations play a key role in the proliferation of cancer cells; and although previously identified point mutations are observed in 90% of thyroid cancers, driver mutation intricacies have an opportunity for exploration. For example, the insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3’s (IGF2BP3) activation is still not fully understood.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine used this gap to better comprehend the genetic abnormalities in thyroid cancer by applying a next-generation sequencing technology. This was accomplished by leveraging a series of papillary thyroid carcinomas — the most common form of thyroid cancer — that did not contain any of the known point mutations. Upon their analysis, it was found that a significant proportion of these tumors contained a genetic abnormality involving the fusion of THADA in a previously unknown region near a gene termed IGF2BP3. The result of this fusion was elevated levels of IGF2BP3 protein, an important component in the IGF1R protein signaling pathway and known driver of tumor growth. The scientific team then went on to also explore this protein presence in other tumor types and found elevated levels (5-15%) across anatomical areas such as colon, lung, pancreas, and ovary. Cell culture and animal model experiments were also conducted and revealed that these tumors could be blocked by IGF1R pathway inhibiting drugs.

Does this finding impact current studies being conducted at your organization or are you in need of samples with associated mutation data? BIOIVT offers FFPE and frozen tumor specimens of which we test for mutations relevant to cancer research. These specimens are available for immediate shipment and include tumors with both mutated and wild-type status. Furthermore, our PHASEZERO research team has experience in the latest NGS technologies and can assist in validating gene/protein targets in tissue types. Contact us to see how we can help.

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