Scientists at the Erasmus MC-University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Applied Biosystems, an Applera Corporation business, have made significant advances in testicular cancer research.

Scientists at the Erasmus MC-University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Applied Biosystems, an Applera Corporation business, have made significant advances in testicular cancer research by identifying and analyzing a set of specific microRNA molecular markers that are involved in the development of testicular tumors.

The researchers in this study, who included Prof Leendert Looijenga, group leader within the department of pathology at the Erasmus Medical Center, which is affiliated with the Josephine Nefkens Institute in Rotterdam, and Mr Simone Gunther, and Mr Jon Sherlock,from Applied Biosystems, profiled the expression patterns of 157 microRNA molecules in a series of different testicular tumors and normal testicular tissue samples.
 
This study has found that normal and cancerous cells contain distinctly different amounts of molecules called microRNAs.  MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression. They play an important role in many biological processes, particularly in cell differentiation and development. MicroRNAs have also been implicated in a number of different diseases, including various cancers.The findings also showed that a tumor’s microRNA expression pattern provides vital information about the malignancy of the tumor. This new information could help clinicians to identify testicular cancer patients more quickly and more accurately, and provide more precise prognoses than current approaches.