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Genes and biomarkers that allow doctors to choose the right therapy for the right patient

, ERBB2 and EGFR, from receiving molecular signals. By blocking these signals, Tykerb could effectively shut down the growth of solid tumors, such as those found in breast, lung and head and neck cancer. However, molecular mechanisms within the cell, largely determined by genetics, could determine how effective cancer drugs are for a particular recipient, Mousses said.

To search for target genes that regulate Tykerb response, Mousses and his colleagues performed a genome-scale scan of two cancer cell lines using high-throughput RNAi, "interfering" RNA strands that bind to and knock out one gene individually, across the genome. It is a systematic and highly efficient technique that uses high-speed mechanization to quickly evaluate how specific genes might affect the cell’s sensitivity to an agent, Tykerb in this case.

The TGen researchers are currently in the process of refining their genetic "hits" and learning more about how cancer specific variations in these sensitizing genes might further affect Tykerb response. While their findings are still at a preliminary stage, Mousses and his colleagues believe their studies will provide important insights into how to predict oncology drug response and much needed genomic intelligence to support commercial drug development.
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Source:American Association for Cancer Research


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