Recent Findings Give More Light To Renal Cancer

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Nowadays, a great number of malignancies are burdening some of the world’s population, physically, emotionally and economically. It has been the goal of many studies to dig deeper into cancer so that management and survival rates will be improved and such cases may be prevented. Van Andel Research Institute scientists have initiated two new studies which can provide a clearer view in the context of rare renal cancer subtypes. This can lead to better therapeutic management.

This research was performed in collaboration with researchers internationally from Genetique Oncologique EPFE-INSERM U753 and Faculte de Medecine Paris-Sud, National Cancer Center Singapore, Le Kremlin-Bicetre and Insitut de Cancerologie Gustave Roussy, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Michigan State University, Singapore General Hospital, Cleveland Clinic and The Wistar Institute.

Kyle Furge, PhD and Aikseng Ooi, PhD, with their team led the study published in Cancer Cell.  They gave a more comprehensive picture regarding the biology of type 2 papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC2), which is considered as an aggressive form of renal cancer without any effective treatment. Furthermore, inherited PRCC2 and its counterpart clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) are believed to have the same pathway deregulation, in spite the notable variations morphologically, clinically and genetically speaking. CCRCC causes 75% of all renal cancers; however, it has a favorable response to medications that target the signal protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), released by cells responsible for blood vessel formation stimulation. The investigators found that deregulation of the KEAP1-NRF2 signal pathway is a distinguishing factor between PRCC2 and CCRCC; however, it provides a connection between inherited and sporadic PRCC2.

Dr. Yan Ding and Dr. Bin Tean Teh led another study found in the Cancer Research, in collaboration with the National Cancer Center Singapore. To determine the genes responsible for CCRCC onset and progression, they made an integration of gene expression profiling and RNAi screening data. Moreover, carious molecularly targeted medications like sunitinib, sorafenib and pazopanib have gained the approval for CCRCC. These drugs target receptor tyrosine kinases of VEGF. Though these aid in extending meaningfully general survival, still many patients having advanced CCRCC gradually give in to the malignancy.

Additionally, cell-cycle-linked genes, specifically PLK1, were suggested by gene set enrichment analysis to be related to the cancer aggressiveness. Moreover, the link of PLK1 in both cancer’s aggression and in vitro growth led the investigators to conduct an examination of how the small-molecule inhibitor affects the CCRCC cell lines. Indeed, the study results underline the great probability of using PLK1 as a target for CCRCC treatment.

 

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