Prof. Gaciong’s team is searching for diagnostically useful gene expression profiles and potential gene markers in Peochromocytoma. Pheochromocytomas are catecholamine-producing tumors and can be lethal unless they are diagnosed and treated appropriately.
Pheochromocytoma may be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Recent evidence suggests that 10% of patients with pheochromocytoma may have an inherited form of the disease due to germ-line mutations in certain genes. However, no somatic mutations associated with the development of the pheochromocytoma has been found so far.
Prof. Gaciong’s team is analyzing the profiles of gene-expression in samples of tumor tissue from patients with pheochromocytoma and compare them with samples of adrenal medulla from cadaver organ donors.
This may allow to identify a gene signature that will be able to discriminate tumor tissue from adrenal medulla. The team hopes that these findings will help to elucidate the mechanisms of oncogenic transformation. Also, a genetic profile may allow to differentiate between benign and malignant forms of the tumor and offer possibilities for new treatment modalities.