Research Papers:

Meta-analysis of clinical data using human meiotic genes identifies a novel cohort of highly restricted cancer-specific marker genes.

Julia Feichtinger, Ibrahim Aldeailej, Rebecca Anderson, Mikhlid Almatrafi, Naif Alsiwiehri, keith Griffiths, Nicholas Stuart, Jane A Wakeman, Lee Larcombe and Ramsay James McFarlane _

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Oncotarget. 2012; 3:843-853. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.580

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Julia Feichtinger1, Ibrahim Aldeailej1,*, Rebecca Anderson1,*, Mikhlid Almutairi1, Ahmed Almatrafi1, Naif Alsiwiehri1, Keith Griffiths2, Nicholas Stuart1,3,5, Jane A. Wakeman1, Lee Larcombe4 and Ramsay J. McFarlane1,5

1 North West Cancer Research Fund Institute, Bangor University, Bangor, LL57 2UW,UK

2 Therapies and Health Sciences, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Bangor, LL57 2UW,UK

3 Medical Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, LL57 2UW,UK

4 Bioinformatics Group, Cranfield Health, Cranfield University, Beds, MK43 0AL,UK

5 NISCHR Cancer Genetics Biomedical Research Unit

* These authors made an equal contribution

Received: July 26, 2012; Accepted: August 02, 2012; Published: August 13, 2012;

Keywords: cancer biomarkers, cancer testes antigens, oncogenes, meiosis, PRDM9, cohesins drug targets


Jane A. Wakeman/Ramsay J. McFarlane, email:


Identifying cancer-specific biomarkers represents an ongoing challenge to the development of novel cancer diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies. Cancer/testis (CT) genes are an important gene family with expression tightly restricted to the testis in normal individuals but which can also be activated in cancers. Here we develop a pipeline to identify new CT genes. We analysed and validated expression profiles of human meiotic genes in normal and cancerous tissue followed by meta-analyses of clinical data sets from a range of tumour types resulting in the identification of a large cohort of highly specific cancer biomarker genes, including the recombination hot spot activator PRDM9 and the meiotic cohesin genes SMC1beta and RAD21L. These genes not only provide excellent cancer biomarkers for diagnostics and prognostics, but may serve as oncogenes and have excellent drug targeting potential.

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