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BATTLE links potential biomarkers to drugs for lung cancer
Date:4/19/2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The first lung cancer clinical trial to guide targeted therapies to patients based on molecular signatures in tumor biopsies is a step toward personalized care and more effective, efficient clinical trials for new drugs, study leaders reported today during the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010.

Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center presented the results of the study that used an innovative statistical model to match four drugs to specific molecular signatures, or biomarkers, in the tumors of 255 stage IV non-small cell lung cancer patients who had received between one and nine previous treatments.

"New drugs that target molecular pathways help a small percentage of lung cancer patients, but right now there's no way to determine who those patients are before treatment," said Edward Kim, M.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology and principal investigator on the Biomarker-Integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination (BATTLE) clinical trials.

"BATTLE evaluated tumor biomarkers in hopes that we can treat lung cancer, which kills more people than any other type of cancer, like we treat breast or colon cancer, using validated biomarkers to guide treatment and improve survival," Kim said. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 219,440 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in 2009 and 159,390 people died from the disease.

Kim said BATTLE also points the way to more precise clinical trials that will require smaller numbers of patients to test a targeted therapy rather than large trials open to all-comers. "Lung cancer research has been plagued by large, Phase III clinical trials that showed minor effects or even failed to enroll enough patients to finish," Kim said.

"Two lung cancer tumors might appear identical under a microscope and have the same sta
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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-516-4855
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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