Identification of molecular biomarkers in esophageal adenocarcinoma

Orsini, Arianna (2023) Identification of molecular biomarkers in esophageal adenocarcinoma, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze cardio nefro toraciche, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10822.
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Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a severe cancer that has been on the rise in Western nations over the past few decades. It has a high mortality rate and the 5-year survival rate is only 35%–45%. EAC has been included in a group of tumors with one of the highest rates of copy number alterations (CNAs), somatic structural rearrangements, high mutation frequency, with different mutational signatures, and with epigenetic mechanisms. The vast heterogeneity of EAC mutations makes it challenging to comprehend the biology that underlies tumor onset and development, identify prognostic biomarkers, and define a molecular classification to stratify patients. The only way to resolve the current disagreements is through an exhaustive molecular analysis of EAC. We examined the genetic profile of 164 patients' esophageal adenocarcinoma samples (without chemo-radiotherapy). The included patients did not receive neoadjuvant therapies, which can change the genetic and molecular composition of the tumor. Using next-generation sequencing technologies (NGS) at high coverage, we examined a custom panel of 26 cancer-related genes. Over the entire cohort, 337 variants were found, with the TP53 gene showing the most frequent alteration (67.27%). Poorer cancer-specific survival was associated with missense mutations in the TP53 gene (Log Rank P=0.0197). We discovered HNF1alpha gene disruptive mutations in 7 cases that were also affected by other gene changes. We started to investigate its role in EAC cell lines by silencing HNF1alpha to mimic our EAC cohort and we use Seahorse technique to analyze its role in the metabolism in esophageal cell. No significant changes were found in transfected cell lines. We conclude by finding that a particular class of TP53 mutations (missense changes) adversely impacted cancer-specific survival in EAC. HNF1alpha, a new EAC-mutated gene, was found, but more research is required to fully understand its function as a tumor suppressor gene.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Orsini, Arianna
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Esophageal adenocarcinoma, HNF1A, TP53
Data di discussione
7 Luglio 2023

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