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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Biological Sciences and Medical School
Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

PI: Brian G. Van Ness

Genetic Variations in Cancer Risk and Therapeutic Outcomes

Unlike somatic mutations, polymorphisms are stable and heritable. Polymorphisms include single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and micro- and mini-satellites, and may include heritable insertions and deletions (indels). A SNP represents a single base change that may or may not cause an amino acid change in the encoded protein, potentially altering function; or a SNP may alter important regulatory elements, that affect levels of expression, or RNA processing.

It is very likely that germline genetic polymorphisms contribute significantly to an individual’s disease course and response. The goal of this study is to assess genotypes, using a comprehensive custom SNP chip the researchers developed and sequenom assays, and determine associations with disease progression, therapeutic responses (including toxicities), and etiology. Analytical approaches will be developed that focus on identification of SNPs within common functional groups or pathways that are associated with clinical endpoints. The group’s hypothesis is that a variety of functional genetic polymorphisms are associated with tumor progression and drug responses that will influence risk, chemotoxicity, and ultimately the course of the disease.

Group Members

Mary Gosse, Graduate Student
Majda Haznadar, Graduate Student
Christine Ramos, Staff