Medical Minute

In this week’s Medical Minute, Dr. Joseph Hobbs, Chair Emeritus of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, discusses a “21-gene cell-death signature” researchers say could indicate, at the time of diagnosis, which patients are at increased risk of dying early and how to better treat their disease.

Researchers have identified a “21-gene cell-death signature” they say could indicate, at the time of diagnosis, which patients are at increased risk of dying early and how to better treat their disease. The investigators looked retrospectively at more than 500 patients with lung cancer, and the genes involved in the usual ways cells die. They then looked at those with the highest and lowest expression of the “21 cell death genes” that occurred most often. They found patients with the highest expression of this “cell death index” had both an increased risk of dying early and indicators that their immune system was trying to fight the cancer. But these patients also had high levels of molecules that were fighting their natural immune response. 

The Medical Minute airs at 8:18 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 5:18 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday on the 17 GPB radio stations across Georgia. For more Medical Minute episodes, visit the Medical Minute 2020 SoundCloud page.