Scientists map gene changes driving tumors in common pediatric soft-tissue cancer
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists have mapped the genetic changes that drive tumors in rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric soft-tissue cancer, and found that the disease is characterized by two distinct genotypes. The genetic alterations identified in this malignancy could be useful in developing targeted diagnostic tools and treatments for children with the disease. The study, by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues, appeared in the Jan. 23, 2014, issue of the journal Cancer Discovery.
A test used to detect a type of cancer in children may produce false positives because it is based on a faulty assumption, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined.
The test works by detecting a gene fusion thought to be unique to a rare form of cancer known as alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, but the new UVA research shows that the fusion actually occurs during normal cellular development as well. The fusion of genes lasts only a brief time during normal development, but a diagnostic test could potentially detect it and indicate the presence of cancer where this is none, the researchers believe