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Gene expression profile helps predict chemotherapy response in ovarian cancer patients

ed microarray testing on samples from 60 ovarian cancer patients treated at BIDMC and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to determine if tumor tissue obtained at a patient's initial diagnosis expressed a gene profile predictive of findings at second-look surgery. (Second-look surgery is currently the most sensitive investigational approach for detecting residual disease in patients with advanced ovarian cancer who have achieved a complete clinical remission following chemotherapy, explains Cannistra.)

The expression of 93 genes, collectively referred to as the Chemotherapy Response Profile (CRP), was found to predict which patients would experience a complete response to chemotherapy, as defined by the absence of disease at the time of second-look surgery. The CRP also confirmed the importance of genes such as BAX in this process, which regulate the cell's response to chemotherapy agents such as paclitaxel.

The authors then went on to compare the results of the CRP and the OCPP. "We found that together these two gene profiles [CRP and OCPP] are a more powerful predictor of a patient's prognosis than either profile separately," says Cannistra. "This represents the first time that two profiles have been combined to yield such a powerful result in this disease."

One of the most difficult types of cancer to treat, advanced ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 26,000 new cases and 16,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

"Being able to identify the expression pattern of these genes from the original tumor sample [i.e. whether genes were 'turned on' or 'turned off'] provides us with valuable information about a patient's prognosis as this type of information cannot always be obtained from standard clinical features, such as tumor grade or residual disease status," notes Cannistra. "And with the identification of each new gene expression profile, we come one step closer to eventually being able to develop treatments tailored to individ
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Source:Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


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