Talk Title :
Blood‐based transcriptomics in breast cancer epidemiology
Date / Time / Location:
Thursday January 14th, 2010 – 6:00 pm
Room S1-151 at IRIC
University of Tromsø
Given the number of factors that influence expression regulation, it is not surprising that often more than one strong signal is present in any given high-dimensional dataset. Peripheral blood is an ideal surrogate tissue as it has the potential to reflect responses to changes in the immediate and distant environments by alterations of gene expression levels. Thus, there is growing evidence that use of peripheral blood cells for transcriptome analysis is valuable to assess environmental- or disease- associated gene signatures.
During this talk, I will focus on altered gene expression in blood by inter-individual or lifestyle factors, breast cancer diagnosis and late-side effects related to breast cancer treatment (e.g. chronic fatigue). Significant results are obtained by examining the biological implications grouped into gene sets, rather than specific single genes tested for differential expression. Perturbed pathways were more or less numerous and distinct across variables with also some similarities emerging, perhaps unsurprisingly, in terms of immune response. Refined analysis identifying key genes specific to blood cell subtypes can also provide exciting functional information.
It is within the prospective cohort design that the most successful examples of biomarkers and disease outcome are found – this will be where the novel design of the Norwegian Women and Cancer (NOWAC) postgenome study can prove valuable.