Potential for a more personalised approach to womb cancer
Manchester doctors have helped show that
high-risk womb cancer patients can be genetically profiled to allow
them to receive more appropriate treatment.
Traditionally, patients with endometrial cancer - cancer of the
womb lining - have their disease risk classified using a
combination of clinical and tissue characteristics, including their
age and the growth and invasion of their tumour.
Around 15-20% of patients have high-risk disease, but it is
unclear what the best treatment approach is for these patients. Now
Manchester researchers have investigated genetic alterations in
high-risk endometrial cancer, to see if they could be used to
create tumour subtypes.
Edmondson, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology at The
University of Manchester and Saint Mary's Hospital, said: "Previous
work, using comprehensive genetic profiling, has suggested that
endometrial cancer can be classified into four subtypes. Our study
has explored whether it is possible to use a simpler approach to
detect subgroups in high risk patients."
Using routinely available technology, the international
TransPORTEC research consortium analysed samples from 116 patients
with endometrial cancer to look for genetic variations.
The team, which also included Dr Emma
Crosbie and Professor
Henry Kitchener from Manchester, found that genetic subtypes
existed in their group of patients, and that they could use their
classification to predict which patients were more likely to
In addition, the analysis allowed them to identify distinctive
genetic mutations that can be targeted with specific anti-cancer
"It looks like these cancers classed as 'high-risk' in fact vary
significantly in outcome. Our results could be used to refine risk
assessment for endometrial cancer patients and allow doctors to
choose either a less aggressive approach or more targeted treatment
for individual patients," added Professor Edmondson.
Paper entitled '
Refining prognosis and identifying targetable pathways for
high-risk endometrial cancer; a TransPORTEC initiative' Stelloo
et al. (2015) Modern Pathology Feb 27. doi:
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