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Mayo Clinic: Ovarian cancer subtypes may predict response to bevacizumab
Date:6/1/2014

CHICAGO Molecular sequencing could identify ovarian cancer patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment with bevacizumab (Avastin), a Mayo Clinic-led study has found. Results of the research were presented today at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

The addition of bevacizumab to standard therapy extended progression-free survival more for ovarian cancer patients with molecular subtypes labeled as "proliferative" or "mesenchymal" compared to those with subtypes labeled as "immunoreactive" or "differentiated," says Sean Dowdy, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gynecologic oncologist and senior author of the study. "Though our study is very preliminary, it does suggest that we are getting close to the point where we could use sequencing data to choose more effective and less toxic therapies for patients."

Dr. Dowdy says the U.S. spends about $3 billion a year on bevacizumab for cancer treatment. "Unfortunately, two-thirds of those patients don't respond to the drug, which means we are just giving them toxicity with no benefit. This expression data will help us choose which patients should receive this drug."

Bevacizumab is an angiogenesis inhibitor, a drug that slows the growth of new blood vessels that help cancers grow and spread. An international phase 3 clinical trial known as ICON7 has recently shown that adding this drug to the first-line chemotherapy drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel can improve progression-free survival of ovarian cancer patients.

Dr. Dowdy and his colleagues wanted to determine if the response to this new treatment could be predicted by looking at the molecular makeup of ovarian tumors. First, the researchers used gene expression arrays to analyze biopsies preserved in paraffin-embedded tissue blocks from ICON7 patients.

Then, they used the molecular classification already established by the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project to separate the
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Contact: Joe Dangor
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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