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Gene expression in liver tumors and patient prognosis

tures. They also had higher expression of genes involved in ubiquitination and histone modification, which suggests an involvement of these processes in aggressive HCC.

"Our results indicate that HCC prognosis can be readily predicted from the gene expression profiles of primary tumors," the authors report. Furthermore, they suggest that the unique molecular characteristics of each subclass could be useful in developing new therapies for liver cancer patients.

"Even if a curative therapy for HCC patients cannot be offered at this stage, it may be possible to identify therapeutic targets that can slow the course of disease progression," the authors conclude. "For example, small molecules that inhibit activities of some transcription factors are already available and may provide opportunities to alter the course of HCC progression in both subclass A and B."

An accompanying editorial by Joseph Locker, M.D. of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, underscores the conclusions of the study by Lee et al. and points out that their work has produced an extremely large data set that is a valuable resource for many kinds of studies.

"Lee et al. focused on unsupervised clustering and prognosis, but there are numerous other important questions that could be approached with further analysis of their comprehensive data sets," writes Locker. "Most important, expression profiling will reveal specific targets for rational therapy."


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Contact: David Greenberg
dgreenbe@wiley.com
201-748-6484
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
13-Sep-2004


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