And in yet another example of more targeted, personalized cancer care, scientists in France reported on a possible biomarker -- a protein known as MSH2 -- that might predict which patients with non-small cell lung cancer will fare better on cisplatin-based chemotherapy.
MSH2 is one of a family of DNA repair genes, the irony being that the gene also repairs DNA purposely damaged by chemotherapy. Not surprisingly, then, patients with either low levels of MSH2 or none at all respond better to cisplatin treatment than patients with higher levels.
"The findings duplicate those of a prior study that showed similar results with a different DNA repair gene, ERCC1," noted Dr. George Simon, director of the thoracic oncology program at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "When these two genes are taken in combination, they seem to predict better than ERCC1 alone."
Find out more about more targeted cancer care at the Personalized Medicine Coalition.
SOURCES: Louis M. Weiner, M.D., director, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; George Simon, M.D., director, thoracic oncology program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; Margaret von Mehren, M.D., medical oncologist, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; May 31, 2009, news conference with Sonali Smith, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center; Stephen J. Schuster, M.D., associate professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia; Eric Van Cutsem, M.D., Ph.D., professor, University Hospital Gas
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