Researchers at Jefferson Medical College have found that the less a particular "protective" gene is present in endometrial cancer cells, the more aggressive the disease will be, and the greater the likelihood the woman will die from the disease. The finding may eventually lead to a test that can predict disease severity and help guide treatment.
Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology, anatomy and cell biology at Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia and his colleagues there and at the University of Florence and at the Second University of Naples examined the cancer cells of 100 patients who underwent surgery for endometrial cancer. The patients had no prior radiation or chemotherapy.
They found that five years after surgery, lower levels of the tumor suppressor gene Rb2/p130 correlated with a higher risk than normal of returning disease. The women were also more likely to die of the cancer. They report their findings in the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"We measured Rb2/p130 status in relation to the length of disease-free survival and disease-specific survival in 100 endometrial cancer patients who had surgery to remove the tumor," explains Dr. Giordano, who also is president of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, which is affiliated with Jefferson Medical College. "We found a decreased level of pRb2 in endometrial cancer significantly associated with decreased probability of remaining disease-free.
"We found that the risk of dying from endometrial
cancer was four and a half times more likely in women with
these lower levels of the gene," he points out. "In
patients with endometrial cancer, and who havent had
chemotherapy or radiation before surgery, the presence of Rb2
is associated with a higher risk of dying independent
Contact: Steve Benowitz
Thomas Jefferson University