Gene Signature for Predicting Solid Tumors Patient Prognosis

A method of predicting the prognosis of a patient diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or breast cancer by detecting expression of one or more cancer-associated genes and a method of identifying an agent for use in treating HCC.

A progressive sequence of somatic mutations and epigenetic changes of oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes are believed to cause tumor development. However, high genomic instability in tumors causes the accumulation of genomic aberrations that do not contribute to tumor progression. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between ‘driver’ mutations that are functionally important and ‘passenger’ mutations that do not provide a selective advantage to the tumor cells.

The current invention describes a driver gene signature for predicting survival in patients with solid malignancies, including HCC and breast cancer. The gene signature includes 10 cancer-associated genes. The NIH researchers also found that these cancer-associated genes can be divided into two different groups. While a decrease in DNA copy number or mRNA expression of one group of genes is associated with poor prognosis in HCC tumors and breast cancer, such a decrease in the other group is associated with good prognosis. The inventors have also demonstrated that at least four of these cancer-associated genes are functional tumor suppressor genes. Thus, these genes may be molecular targets of HCC and breast cancer.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Prognosis for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and breast cancer patient survival.
  • Potential new method to identify therapeutic treatment for HCC and breast cancer patients.
  • Since the method involves multiple genes it can provide a highly accurate prognosis
  • The method provides a way to identify therapeutic agents

Xin Wei Wang (NCI)
Stephanie Roessler (NCI)

Intellectual Property:
US Application No. 61/198,813
PCT Application No. PCT/US2009/063883
US Application No. 13/127,701

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize this Gene Signature for Predicting Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patient Prognosis. Please contact John D. Hewes, Ph.D. at 301-435-3121 or for more information. Click here to view the NCI collaborative opportunity announcement.

Licensing Contact:
Uri Reichman , Ph.D., M.B.A.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
Phone: 301-435-4616

OTT Reference No: E-024-2009/0

Updated: Jan-08-2013