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Clinical trial tests COXEN model to predict best treatment for bladder cancer
Date:8/13/2014

a major medical breakthrough in treating bladder cancer 20 years," says Thomas Flaig, MD, medical director of the CU Cancer Center Clinical Investigations Shared Resource, associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and national chair of the current SWOG clinical trial. "We have new, targeted treatments for lung cancer, breast cancer, and others, but so far there hasn't been a good way to select patients with the best chance of responding to traditional chemotherapies. COXEN could allow us to better target these therapies, predicting what will work and what will not based on a cancer's genetic structure for individual patients."

The phase 2 randomized trial now underway will use tissue from a biopsy before surgery. Researchers will then examine the cancer's genetic structure. In this case, patients will have been randomized to one of two currently accepted chemotherapeutic regimens, namely Gemcitabine plus Cisplatin or MVAC, a 4 drug combination. Researchers will watch patient outcomes to discover if the COXEN algorithm predicted the most useful drug more often than current methods. If successful, future trials will allow COXEN to choose bladder cancer treatment proactively, and could be expanded to many additional cancer types.

"This is a big deal for three reasons," Flaig says. "First, it could help us correctly assign patients to chemotherapy versus immediate local therapy with surgery or radiation in bladder cancer. Second, it could help us direct chemotherapy in many other human cancers if proven here. And third, it could represent the first advance in a disease that has lagged far behind many others in the modern era of molecularly-driven cancer care."

The COXEN trial will enroll 184 bladder cancer patients at the CU Cancer Center and at other NCI clinical trials sites around the country. More information is available at ClinicalTrials.gov.


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Contact: Garth Sundem
garth.sundem@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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