Lung Cancer Genomics/Epigenomics

Overview

High Throughput Genotyping by Lightcycler Melting Curve Analysis (upper) and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry using MassARRAY (lower)

Lung Cancer is a common disease with bad treatment outcome. The main environmental risk factor clearly is tobacco smoke exposure, however, individual susceptibility to lung carcinogenesis varies. Our interdisciplinary workgroup is interested in genetic and epigenetic factors that modify both lung cancer risk (gene-environment interaction) and treatment outcome (pharmacogenetics).

We employ melting curve analysis and real-time PCR analysis using the LightCycler 480 for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy number (CNV) genotyping, as well as the MassARRAY platform (Sequenom), for high throughput quantitative methylation-, CNV- and SNP-analyses. Genome-wide methylation analyses using tiling arrays, expression- and functional studies are also performed.

From a long-standing collaboration with the Thoraxklinik Heidelberg we have an extensive biospecimen collection with associated exposure and clinical data for molecular epidemiological risk analyses (case-control study) and translational pharmaco(epi)genetic investigations (treatment response).

We are active in the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO) and The German Center for Lung Research (Deutsches Zentrum für Lungenforschung, DZL).

Major Research Directions

Epigenetic/genomic and genetic/genomic analyses relating to lung cancer risk and treatment outcome in lung cancer patients, with a particular focus on

  • Methylation analysis of lung cancer susceptibility loci
  • Method development for SNP and CNV analyses using high-throughput platforms
  • Risk factors for early onset lung cancer
  • Gender differences in the impact of interindividual variation on lung cancer risk

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