AEG-1 is a cancer-associated gene with multiple functions, which contribute to several hallmarks of cancer including drug-resistance.
Perhaps the greatest potential for AEG-1 expression would be to couple it with measurements of the expression of the BRCA1 gene, Dr Rosell said.
"Combining these two measurements could have very important clinical implications since defining a low-risk subgroup of patients can accurately predict situations when the simple administration of an oral EGFR drug could have an extremely durable effect, of more than two years."
"This could give confidence to the patient, their family and doctors, and eliminate the traditional anxiety of waiting for periodical CT scan reassessments," Dr Rosell said. "While radiographic monitoring will not be left to one side altogether, the patient and family can face these tests without anxiety."
For those patients in the high-risk group, the result can alert the clinical oncologist to be ready for early progression and look for alternative management strategy, Dr Rosell said.
Commenting on the research, which she was not involved in, Dr Fiona Blackhall, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester Cancer Research Centre, UK, explained that Dr Rosell and colleagues applied innovative nanostring technology to address why, despite presence of EGFR gene mutation, clinical outcomes with erlotinib treatment (response rate and duration of response) are heterogeneous.
"They have discovered that AEG-1, a gene that activates several molecular pathways implicated in drug resistance, is a strong predictor of progression-free survival in the context of EGFR gene mutation and erlotinib treatment. This finding provides new insight into molecular mechanisms driving resistance to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors that may be exploited for t
|Contact: Vanessa Pavinato|
European Society for Medical Oncology