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Biomarkers predict brain tumor's response to therapy
Date:6/23/2009

PHILADELPHIA A report in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, highlights a new biomarker that may be useful in identifying patients with recurrent glioblastoma, or brain tumors, who would respond better to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, specifically cediranib.

Cediranib is a highly potent inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinases. It is an investigational, oral agent that is administered once daily. Using a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that looked at the mechanism of action of this agent, the researchers were able to determine, even as early as after a single dose of cediranib, those patients who benefited from the agent and those who did not.

"We found that results from an advanced MRI scan taken just a day after starting treatment correlated with survival. Combining MRI with blood biomarkers did an even better job of identifying patients who best responded to treatment," said researcher A. Gregory Sorensen, M.D., associate professor of radiology and health sciences and technology at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital. "If this approach is validated in larger studies, we could use these tools to keep patients on therapies that their tumors respond to, and shift non-responders to other therapies much earlier."

Sorensen and colleagues sought to find the potential biomarkers that could be used to predict those patients who would respond better from antiangiogenic therapy early in the course of treatment by use of MRI.

The researchers measured vascular normalization prior to and one day after patients' received cediranib using an advanced MRI technique. They performed blood analysis and examined correlations between vascular parameters and treatment response after a single dose of cediranib in 31 patients with recurrent glioblastoma; all biomarkers were measured in 28 patients.

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Contact: Tara Yates
tara.yates@aacr.org
267-646-0558
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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