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Abnormal overexpression of p53 is a predictive molecular biomarker

roximately 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with head and neck cancer, and about 11,000 patients will die.

Many cancers have a dysfunction in the p53 pathway that regulates the cell cycle, helping to protect against cancer formation, but researchers estimate that more than 50 percent of head and neck tumors over-express p53 protein. That suggests a defect in protein regulation or that the p53 gene is mutated, incapable of producing effective protein. Tumors that are p53 negative likely have a working p53 gene and protein pathway, as normal p53 levels in cells are typically low.

Advexin is farthest along in federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of any experimental gene therapy, according to Introgen, and has been granted fast track designation for an application of use in head and neck cancer. Results from two phase II clinical trials involving more than 160 SCCHN patients have found that 18 percent of patients treated with Advexin achieved local regional disease control. Two other phase III trials in the disease are underway. According to Introgen's published research, Advexin has also achieved 100 percent response when combined with chemotherapy to treat locally advanced breast cancer, and a 69 percent response when used with radiation to treat non-small cell lung cancer.


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Source:American Association for Cancer Research


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