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Gene signature may improve colon cancer treatment
Date:2/26/2010

cer samples from Vanderbilt patients.

The researchers then examined whether this 34-gene signature could predict recurrence and death in a larger patient population.

In colon cancer tissue samples from 177 patients from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., the signature identified in the highly invasive mouse cells the "high recurrence" (or "poor prognosis") signature was associated with increased risk of recurrence and death across all stages of disease.

Among patients with stage II disease, those with the "poor prognosis" signature had a five-year mortality rate of 31 percent. However, no stage II patients with a "low recurrence" (or "good prognosis") signature died within the five-year period.

In patients with stage III disease, 38 percent of those with a "poor" signature died of their disease within five years, whereas only 10.7 percent of those with a "good" prognosis signature died within that time period.

"Across all stages, if patients had a 'poor' prognosis signature, then they would be five times more likely to have a recurrence of cancer than those with a 'good' prognosis signature," said Beauchamp.

But the most interesting finding, Beauchamp says, is the ability of this gene signature to identify the patients most likely to benefit from chemotherapy.

Among stage III patients with a "poor" prognosis signature, those who had received chemotherapy had a 36 percent cancer-related death rate. Those who did not receive chemotherapy had an 86 percent death rate.

"That tells us that patients with the ('poor' prognosis signature) probably benefited from chemotherapy," Beauchamp said. "And (patients with a 'good' prognosis signature) appeared to get no benefit from chemotherapy."

"This really feeds right into personalized cancer medicinein identifying subgroups of patients that will benefit from one treatment versus another treatment modality, trying to target those pati
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Contact: Melissa Marino
melissa.marino@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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