A team of researchers from Renmin Hospital, Wuhan University, China, has evaluated the potential of using the GNAS1 T393C polymorphism as a prognostic tool in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
There is a need to characterize an increased number of reliable and accurate molecular biomarkers that can diagnose aggressive lung cancer phenotypes, allowing the creation of individual personalized therapies with a higher rate of success.
There have been studies that support the idea biomarkers could aid in patient categorization depending on their particular genetic profile. However, this has not yet seen a practical outcome since there is no standard procedure to immunohistochemically detect such biomarkers.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), such as GNAS1 T393C, appear as viable prognostic markers since they can be easily assessed through patient’s blood. SNPs consists of a DNA sequence variation that occurs within a population, in which a single nucleotide -A, T, C or G – in the genome is different between the members of a biological species or paired chromosomes.
Studies have suggested a link between the T393C polymorphism and prognosis in several types of cancer, including breast carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, bladder cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal cancer and clear cell renal carcinoma.
In this study, researchers genotyped peripheral blood samples from patients diagnosed with advanced NSCLC (before treatment) and assessed the potential of the T393C SNP as a predictive factor for survival for these patients.
The results demonstrated that, concerning the T393C SNP, 40% of patients displayed a TT genotype, 31% a CT genotype and 29% a CC genotype.
These different genotypes were associated with different survival rates, as the median survival of TT genotype carriers was longer than CT or CC genotype carriers. Furthermore, a TT genotype was a predictor of a better overall survival when compared with a CT or CC genotype.
Based on these results, the authors conclude that the GNAS1 T393C genetic polymorphism can have an influence in advanced NSCLC patients, correlating with a worse prognosis for C allele carriers.
“It should be emphasized that in this study, we only investigated a small population of patients. Although our study indicated that genetic host factors play a role in tumor progression, which was consistent with the previously published data, further independent studies of large cohorts are necessary to confirm the reliability of our findings. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms underlying the significance of the GNAS1 T393C genotype associated with potentially surrogate SNPs remain to be explored”, the authors state in their study.