IPA Used to Identify Novel Treatment Response Biomarker in Ovarian Cancer

Cover_journal_Gynecologic_OncologyWe’re always proud when a customer publishes using one of the QIAGEN Ingenuity applications, but this recent paper in Gynecologic Oncology is particularly special for us because the QIAGEN Silicon Valley team contributed enough analysis to be named among authors!

Interferon regulatory factor 1 is an independent predictor of platinum resistance and survival in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma,” from Samantha Cohen et al. at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,reports a promising new biomarker to help determine whether a patient will become resistant to chemo treatment. Mount Sinai’s John Martignetti is the senior author on the publication.

The biomarker is IRF1 (interferon regulatory factor 1), a transcription factor that functions both in immune regulation and as a tumor suppressor. High-grade serous ovarian cancer, or epithelial ovarian cancer, has a remarkably high mortality rate: five-year survival is just 30 percent. In the US alone, there were some 14,000 deaths from this cancer last year. With such an aggressive cancer, any new tool that provides additional information for clinicians making treatment decisions is a significant advance.

Jean-Noel Billaud and Richard Halpert from QIAGEN Silicon Valley collaborated with Mount Sinai scientists, contributing RNA-seq data processing and analysis using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Together, the scientists at both organizations chose to pursue IRF1, which was highlighted by IPA as a significant component and was particularly interesting due to its role in immune regulation.

The team performed transcriptome analysis on seven ovarian cancer samples, and then on another set of 31 samples once IRF1 had been identified as a possible biomarker by IPA’s Upstream Regulator Analysis feature. Later, they accessed a public gene expression database and analyzed more than 1,200 ovarian cancer samples for the IRF1 marker. Consistently, they saw that high expression of IRF1 corresponded with patients who had a longer progression-free survival or overall survival, while low expression corresponded with patients who did not respond to repeated treatment. The analysis demonstrated that IRF1 status was a clear indicator to distinguish patients who became resistant to cisplatin treatment from those who remained sensitive to it.

The authors conclude that not only is IRF1 a useful prognostic biomarker for patients with ovarian cancer, but that it could also be an interesting therapeutic candidate for future drug development. Read more about the study in our publisher page.