Elliott Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon ’01 recently published an article in the journal Cancer Genetics highlighting the prognostic significance of FOXC2 gene expression in tumor biopsies. Using publicly available data from clinical specimens catalogued in The Cancer Genome Atlas, a landmark cancer genomics program that molecularly characterized more than 20,000 tissue specimens across 33 different cancer types, Dr. Hargadon identified FOXC2 RNA levels in tumor biopsies as a novel biomarker predictive of patient survival and response to several widely used chemotherapeutics. This work, conducted in collaboration with Hampden-Sydney student and co-author Eli Strong ’20, represents the most comprehensive evaluation of FOXC2 as an RNA-level biomarker for cancer to date, and it is the first to identify the prognostic value of FOXC2 gene expression as a determinant of patient response to chemotherapy. This study highlights the potential of using FOXC2 gene expression in tumor biopsy samples as a biomarker to guide appropriate treatment regimens most likely to yield clinical benefit in cancer patients.
Eli Strong, who contributed to the data analysis for this work, was Valedictorian of the Class of 2020 and is currently in his first year of medical school at George Washington University. He is also co-author on another article published with Dr. Hargadon in the journal Cancer Genomics and Proteomics (2019), which describes work conducted in a novel, genetically engineered mouse melanoma model that was used to identify a role for the FOXC2 transcription factor in melanoma progression.
The most recent article in Cancer Genetics can be found here:
Downloadable PDF available at: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1cdoT7sh1pLAGy