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1.  A gene expression signature from peripheral whole blood for stage I lung adenocarcinoma 
Affordable early screening in subjects with high risk of lung cancer has great potential to improve survival from this deadly disease. We measured gene expression from lung tissue and peripheral whole blood (PWB) from adenocarcinoma cases and controls to identify dysregulated lung cancer genes that could be tested in blood to improve identification of at-risk patients in the future. Genome-wide mRNA expression analysis was conducted in 153 subjects (73 adenocarcinoma cases, 80 controls) from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study using PWB and paired snap-frozen tumor and non-involved lung tissue samples. Analyses were conducted using unpaired t-tests, linear mixed effects and ANOVA models. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was computed to assess the predictive accuracy of the identified biomarkers. We identified 50 dysregulated genes in stage I adenocarcinoma versus control PWB samples (False Discovery Rate ≤0.1, fold change ≥1.5 or ≤0.66). Among them, eight (TGFBR3, RUNX3, TRGC2, TRGV9, TARP, ACP1, VCAN, and TSTA3) differentiated paired tumor versus non-involved lung tissue samples in stage I cases, suggesting a similar pattern of lung cancer-related changes in PWB and lung tissue. These results were confirmed in two independent gene expression analyses in a blood-based case-control study (n=212) and a tumor-non tumor paired tissue study (n=54). The eight genes discriminated patients with lung cancer from healthy controls with high accuracy (AUC=0.81, 95% CI=0.74–0.87). Our finding suggests the use of gene expression from PWB for the identification of early detection markers of lung cancer in the future.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0170
PMCID: PMC3188352  PMID: 21742797
microarray gene expression; peripheral blood; lung cancer; stage I
2.  Melanoma-restricted genes 
Human metastatic cutaneous melanoma has gained a well deserved reputation for its immune responsiveness. The reason(s) remain(s) unknown. We attempted previously to characterize several variables that may affect the relationship between tumor and host immune cells but, taken one at the time, none yielded a convincing explanation. With explorative purposes, high-throughput technology was applied here to portray transcriptional characteristics unique to metastatic cutaneous melanoma that may or may not be relevant to its immunogenic potential. Several functional signatures could be identified descriptive of immune or other biological functions. In addition, the transcriptional profile of metastatic melanoma was compared with that of primary renal cell cancers (RCC) identifying several genes co-coordinately expressed by the two tumor types. Since RCC is another immune responsive tumor, commonalities between RCC and melanoma may help untangle the enigma of their potential immune responsiveness. This purely descriptive study provides, therefore, a map for the investigation of metastatic melanoma in future clinical trials and at the same time may invite consideration of novel therapeutic targets.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-2-34
PMCID: PMC527872  PMID: 15488140
3.  Selection and validation of endogenous reference genes using a high throughput approach 
BMC Genomics  2004;5:55.
Background
Endogenous reference genes are commonly used to normalize expression levels of other genes with the assumption that the expression of the former is constant in different tissues and in different physiopathological conditions. Whether this assumption is correct it is, however, still matter of debate. In this study, we searched for stably expressed genes in 384 cDNA array hybridization experiments encompassing different tissues and cell lines.
Results
Several genes were identified whose expression was highly stable across all samples studied. The usefulness of 8 genes among them was tested by normalizing the relative gene expression against test genes whose expression pattern was known. The range of accuracy of individual endogenous reference genes was wide whereas consistent information could be obtained when information pooled from different endogenous reference genes was used.
Conclusions
This study suggests that even when the most stably expressed genes in array experiments are used as endogenous reference, significant variation in test gene expression estimates may occur and the best normalization is achieved when data from several endogenous reference genes are pooled together to minimize minimal but significant variation among samples. We are presently optimizing strategies for the preparation of endogenous reference gene mixtures that could yield information comparable to that of data pooled from individual endogenous reference gene normalizations.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-5-55
PMCID: PMC516027  PMID: 15310404

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