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Matching targeted therapies to tumor's specific gene mutations key to personalized cancer treatment
Date:6/3/2011

CHICAGO Customizing targeted therapies to each tumor's molecular characteristics, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach by tumor type, may be more effective for some types of cancer, according to research conducted by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

MD Anderson's Phase I findings were presented today on the opening press program of the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Apostolia-Maria Tsimberidou, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, and the study's principal investigator, presented the data.

Marking the largest scale on which this approach has been examined to date, the study analyzed the results of matching targeted therapies with specific gene mutations in patients. The data indicated that this strategy was associated with higher rates of response, survival and failure-free survival than observed in non-matched patients.

Pairing Patient and Treatment

"This preliminary study strongly suggests that molecular analysis is needed to use the right drug for the right patient. Up to this point, we have treated tumor types, but this study shows we cannot treat all patients with a tumor type the same way. We need to take into consideration a number of factors, and this study suggests that a personalized approach is needed to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer," said Tsimberidou.

The identification of pathways involved in carcinogenesis, metastasis and drug resistance; new technologies enabling tumor molecular analysis; and the discovery of targeted therapies have stimulated research focusing on the use of targeted agents as part of a personalized medicine approach, she said.

"Over the past decades, a personalized medicine approach using Gleevec has changed the way we treat chronic myeloid leukemia, as well as survival rates
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
832-264-8893
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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