Identification of gene expression profiles associated with prognostic groups of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma
BMC Bioinformatics volume 15, Article number: P20 (2014)
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive form of skin cancer mostly caused by the Merkel cell polyomavirus . MCC although rare in incidence is associated with poor prognosis. Gene expression studies (GES) have identified a number of genes that are associated with risk of developing MCC. However, their clinical utility to predict risk, response to treatment, or treatment toxicity, remains undefined. There is a need to better understand the biology of MCC and to develop potential new targets with regard to cancer risk and prognostic value . Gene expression profiling and pathway association analysis on GES data can elucidate relevant biological processes, and identify new candidate target genes.
Materials and methods
We sought to identify differential gene expression and functional associations in MCC. Differentially expressed genes with a P value ≤ 0.05 and a fold change ≥ 2.5 between prognostic groups were identified and pathway association analysis was done for a total of 38 differentially expressed genes from a gene expression profiling study  with prognostic groups of MCC patients. The over representation of gene-based associations in each pathway was calculated using Fisher's exact test.
Pathways involved in neuropathic pain signaling, glutamate receptor signaling and synaptic long term potentiation were found to be highly enriched with associations. These results suggest that gene expressions associated with these pathways may contribute to MCC development and prognosis.
Chang Y, Moore PS: Merkel Cell Carcinoma: A virus-induced human cancer. Annu Rev Pathol. 2012, 7: 123-144.
Andea AA, Coit DG, Amin B, Busam KJ: Merkel cell carcinoma histologic features and prognosis. Cancer. 2008, 113 (9): 2549-58.
Paulson KG, Iyer JG, Tegeder AR, Thibodeau R, Schelter J, Koba S, Schrama D, Simonson WT, Lemos BD, Byrd DR, Koelle DM, Galloway DA, Leonard JH, Madeleine MM, Argenyi ZB, Juergen D, Becker C, Cleary M, Nghiem P: Transcriptome-wide studies of Merkel Cell Carcinoma and validation of intratumoral CD8 lymphocyte invasion as an independent predictor of survival. J Clin Oncol. 2011, 29 (12): 1539-1546.
About this article
Cite this article
Raj, V., Kadlubar, S. Identification of gene expression profiles associated with prognostic groups of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma. BMC Bioinformatics 15 (Suppl 10), P20 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2105-15-S10-P20