FRONT PAGES: Young Adult Cancer Patients May Have Different Treatment Options

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

Newswise — All tumors are different. Treatments for young adults with skin, colon and other types of cancer may be different than those given to older patients. That is the primary conclusion of a Mount Sinai study which systematically compared the genomes of 14 different types of cancers that affected both younger and older adults. The Cell Reports results suggest that there may be several genetic signatures that can help to identify the best treatment options for young adults with cancer.

The study was conducted by William Lee, PhD. He is a former student in the laboratory Kuan-lin Huang’s lab and Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School for Medicine at Mount Sinai.

According to at least two recent studies the cancer diagnosis rates among young adults could be increasing. The authors of this study point out that most of the information about different cancer treatments is based on older patients. This creates an apparent knowledge gap.

To address this, the researchers compared the genomic data of 14 different types of tumors from 1,757 adult patients who were under 50 years of age with that of 3,608 who were older than 50. The data came from The Cancer Genome Atlas , a project funded the National Cancer Institute. The researchers looked at each tumor and compared their genetic mutations, chromosomal changes, and tumor immune system factors. They also considered whether the tumor could be treated with an anti-cancer treatment. They then validated the results using additional samples from the International Cancer Genome Consortium.

Overall the results showed that each type was distinguishable from older ones by a set of hallmarks. The relative proportions of well-known genetic mutations in low-grade brain tumors, such as gliomas and sarcomas, varied greatly depending on the patient’s age. Younger patients with endometrial cancers had more mutations than older patients.

Nevertheless, there were some common trends across cancer types. The most striking finding was that young adults had different immune responses to all types of cancer. These responses included those by macrophages and dendritic cell, which are frequently exploited in anti-cancer immunotherapies.

Finally, researchers discovered that there were differences in how adult tumors respond to different treatments, including drugs to combat cancer-causing mutations within the BRAF genes. These results suggest that anti BRAF drugs might be more effective for young patients with skin cancer than older patients who have the same type of tumors. Anti-BRAF may be more beneficial for older patients with colon cancer than for younger ones. These results were made available to other cancer researchers by the authors. They plan to collaborate with other researchers to test new ways to fight tumors in young adults.

Who: Kuan-lin Huang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and William Lee, PhD, former graduate student, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (GM138113) and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Article

Lee, W. et al., Genomic and Molecular Features Distinguish Young Adult Cancer from Later-Onset Cancer. Cell Reports, November 16, 2021, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.110005.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a leader in medicine and health, providing unrivalled education, translational research, and discovery to provide care that is safest, most high-quality, most accessible, and least expensive of all health systems in the country. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 415 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked on U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” of the top 20 U.S. hospitals and is top in the nation by specialty: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai ranks No. 12 in Ophthalmology. Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital is ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” among the country’s best in four out of 10 pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Medical Schools,” aligned with a U.S. News & World Report “Honor Roll” Hospital, and No. 14 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 1 in Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals”. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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