Genetic Mutations in Digestive Cancers

Washington, D.C., UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A recently published article in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 246, Issue 18, September 2021) examines genetic mutations in digestive cancers. The study, led by Dr. Yinchi Yang, in the Department of General Surgery of the Beijing Friendship Hospital at the Capital Medical University in Beijing (China), reports that regulators of mRNA modification exhibit extensive genetic modification in digestive cancers. 

Digestive system cancers are common throughout the world and result in over 2.5 million fatalities annually. Digestive cancers include tumors of the stomach, rectum, esophagus, colon, liver, bile duct and pancreas. If caught at an early stage, treatment for digestive cancers can be effective. However, many of these tumors are diagnosed late, resulting in a poor prognosis for patients. A common RNA modification, N6-methyladenosine (m6A), plays a critical role in digestive system tumor development. The abundance and effect of m6A modifications are determined by the dynamic interaction between the enzymes that regulate (add or remove) the abundance of mA6 modifications A better understanding of these regulators of m6A RNA modification in digestive cancers could provide a guide for prognosis and future drug development.

In this study, Dr. Yang and colleagues systematically analyzed regulators of m6A modification in seven digestive tumor types. Regulators of mA6 modification exhibited extensive genetic modification and consistent changes in expression levels in various digestive tumour types. Moreover, regulators of mA6 modification were confirmed as potential indicators of prognostic stratification. Finally, an m6AScore model across tumors was established and could be a potential marker for immunotherapy treatment. Dr. Zhang said, "similarities and differences in the mechanisms of action of m6A regulators in the progression of digestive tract and digestive gland tumors could direct drug development."

Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine, said, "Dr. Yang and colleagues have provided strong evidence that m6A regulator expression has clinical prognostic stratification value for various digestive system cancers. They have provided a foundation for development of digestive tract and gland cancer-specific RNA-methylation therapeutic approaches."

Experimental Biology and Medicine is a global journal dedicated to the publication of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences. The journal was first established in 1903. Experimental Biology and Medicine is the journal of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine. To learn about the benefits of society membership, visit If you are interested in publishing in the journal, please visit

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