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Jan 2006 Medecine sciences : M/S

Genetic factors and colorectal cancers development: therapeutic impact.


Olschwang S, Viret F, Monges G, Seitz J, Sevenet N, Tiret E, Milano G, Birnbaum D, Bertucci F


Colorectal tumorigenesis is associated with the progressive increase of epithelium dysplasia and wall invasion. These criteria are evaluated through histological staging, that enables a reliable estimation of patient prognosis, and is the best tool for therapeutic decision. Adjuvant chemotherapy is systematically proposed in case of lymph nodes and/or distant metastases (stages III and IV respectively). Its benefit in stage II tumors however remains unclear. Independently of the nature of the treatment, one third of all stage II-III tumors will metastasize. One important element to improve our tools for therapeutic decision is the identification of prognostic parameters, independent of the histological and morphological classifications. In a preliminary study, we allelotyped a series of 401 colon tumors and have shown that 5q and 8p allelic status were significantly predictive of the patients evolution. As a first approach, analysis of 47 tumors using microarray expression measures has allowed to validate the strong correlation between RNA levels and genomic status (i.e. mutation and allelic status) of known genes (APC, SMAD4, TP53, MLH1). We are now planning to characterize a series of 185 stage II-III colon tumors at both genomic and transcriptomic levels, in combination with the clinicopathological findings. Disease-free patients were followed at least 3 years after surgical resection. A tight collaboration of 5 departments of digestive oncology allowed to collect all clinical and biological resources for this project. Depending on our findings, correlations will be made between gene expression levels and somatic mutations of the coreesponding genes. Real time RT-PCR and immunohistochemical analyses will be performed on selected genes. Finally, biological mechanisms will be investigated to look for new therapeutic targets.

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