"We conducted this project to see if the test is also prognostic in untreated patients who received an EGFR inhibitor in the first line. Until now, this has not been clear."
The researchers used VeriStrat to analyze blood samples from 117 patients previously enrolled in two phase II trials and compared the results to the patients' progression-free survival and overall survival. The analysis showed that those classified by the test as likely to have better outcomes on EGFR inhibitor therapy did indeed live longer.
"The difference in overall survival between patients classified by the test as likely to have better or worse outcomes when receiving EGFR inhibitors was clinically relevant," Dr Gautschi said. However he noted that definitive conclusions about the use of this test in previously untreated patients requires further studies.
"There is an unmet need for reliable blood-based markers in patients with lung cancer, because lung tumors are harder to biopsy than breast tumours for example. The current study indicates that modern technologies, such as proteomics, are promising tools, which need further validation in large trials," he said. In this context, the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP) is currently launching a prospective phase-III trial to futher validate this test in patients with lung cancer.
"Clinical trials involving robust predictive tools have potentially a great impact and can be of paramount relevance in defining the real role of personalized cancer medicine," commented Dr Rafael Rosell from the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Badalona, Spain, Member of the ESMO Chest Tumors Faculty group. "This broad proteomic analysis can provide useful information, circumventing the problem of tumor heterogeneity that can arise when a single tumor biopsy is examined," Dr Rosell added.
Micro RNA marks response to chemoprevention
|Contact: Vanessa Pavinato|
European Society for Medical Oncology