Molecular Screening for Target Discovery in Cancer
Sammanfattning: Cancer is one of the major causes of death in the western world. Resistance to anti-cancer drugs and diagnostic difficulties are major obstacles to successful treatment. This thesis describes studies based on microarray expression analysis and high-throughput compound screening for identification of resistance mechanisms, drug targets and diagnostic markers.In paper I-IV, we applied global expression analysis and measurements of drug response in a human tumor cell line panel to identify drug targets and resistance mechanisms. In paper I, we identified gene transcript levels that correlate with drug resistance and sensitivity. Both well known and new potential markers and mechanisms were identified. In paper II, we showed that STAT1 activity is associated with cross-resistance to both doxorubicin and radiation in vitro and that fludarabine can counteract STAT1 activity and reduce resistance. In Paper III-IV, cell lines were exposed to a compound library consisting of more than thousand different substances in a high-throughput screening effort. These studies revealed that cell line models of squamous cell carcinoma (Paper III) and drug resistant myeloma (Paper IV) are sensitive to phosphodiesterase inhibitors and glucocorticoids respectively. The target molecules for these drugs were over-expressed at the mRNA level and constitute likely explanations for the observed drug potency. In paper V, we identified mRNA markers for the distinction between two types of thyroid tumors, thyroid follicular adenomas and thyroid follicular carcinomas, by means of microarray expression analysis. Our results indicated that distinction between the two tumor types is possible with a small number of markers.
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