Gene Expression & Clinical Differences in Neuroblastoma by Sex

Presented by:
Freddy Barragan, Lindsay Williams, Lauren Mills, & Logan Spector (University of Minnesota)

Beyond heredity, there are no known risk factors of pediatric neuroblastoma, yet there are ostensible survival differences by sex. Our work was aimed at identifying and analyzing the genetic basis of these survival differences with methods from statistical genetics, bioinformatics, and epidemiology. Using genomic data from the NCI’s TARGET (Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments) database, we’ve identified 245 genes and 7 protein-coding genes which are differentially expressed between males and females with neuroblastoma. Identification utilized comparative logarithmic fold change (LFC) analysis, hierarchical clustering, and clinical statistics. This pipeline was then applied to 4 other pediatric cancers with the hopes of explaining or discovering genetic and clinical differences by sex. We consistently found differentially expressed protein and non-protein-coding genes in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, osteosarcoma, and Wilms tumor.