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Breast cancer susceptibility gene predicts outcome and response to treatment in lung cancer
Date:9/25/2007

Barcelona, Spain: Researchers have found that the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA1, plays a significant role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Not only can it be used to predict outcome for patients with NSCLC, but it may also prove to be a valuable tool in choosing the best therapy for them.

Dr Rafael Rosell today (Tuesday) told the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, that analysis of the expression of five different genes had shown that those NSCLC patients who had high levels of expression of BRCA1 had nearly double the risk of dying early from the disease than those patients with low levels of BRCA1 expression.

In addition, Dr Rosell, who is chief of the Medical Oncology Service and scientific director of oncology research at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain, said that earlier studies in breast cancer and a study by him and his colleagues in NSCLC had linked low levels of BRCA1 expression with high sensitivity to cisplatin-based chemotherapies, while high levels of BRCA1 expression were linked with lack of response to cisplatin, but an increased sensitivity to antimicrotubule agents (taxanes) that prevent cancers growing by stopping cell division.

Our research shows that patients whose tumours had high BRCA1 expression had significantly worse survival and should be candidates for adjuvant chemotherapy, said Dr Rosell. Earlier studies have shown the way that different levels of BRCA1 expression affect response to different types of chemotherapy, and, therefore, we believe that BRCA1 could be a landmark predictor of chemosensitivity in NSCLC and assessment of its expression could be useful for customizing adjuvant chemotherapy. We believe that patients with the highest expression levels should receive antimicrotubule, non-platinum-based chemotherapy.

Dr Rosell and his colleagues from Poland and Italy investigated gene expression in tumour samples from 126 patients in Poland w
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
34-932-308-832
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference
Source:Eurekalert

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