Terminal and progenitor lineage-survival oncogenes as cancer markers.
Vias M., Ramos-Montoya A., Mills IG.
Tumour classification has traditionally focused on differentiation and cellular morphology, and latterly on the application of genomic approaches. By combining chromatin immunoprecipitation with expression array, it has been possible to identify direct gene targets for transcription factors for nuclear hormone receptors. At the same time, there have been great strides in deriving stem and progenitor cells from tissues. It is therefore timely to propose that pairing the isolation of these cell subpopulations from tissues and tumours with these genomics approaches will reveal conserved gene targets for transcription factors. By focusing on transcription factors (lineage-survival oncogenes) with roles in both organogenesis and tumourigenesis at multiple organ sites, we suggest that this comparative genomics approach will enable developmental biology to be used more fully in relation to understanding tumour progression and will reveal new cancer markers. We focus here on neurogenesis and neuroendocrine differentiation in tumours.