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Molecular marker predicts patients most likely to benefit longest from 2 popular cancer drugs
Date:9/5/2013

FR inhibitors."

Next, the research team studied Mig 6 levels in a variety of tumors that were directly engrafted into mice, a research model known as a xenograft, and treated with an EGFR inhibitor. These new models contain a more complete sampling of the tumor that includes "stromal" cells, which surround and interact with the cancer cells. "These tumors are implanted along with their own microenvironment, into the mice, and we believe this model may be more predictive of what happens in human patients," says Sidransky.

In the xenografts of tumors without EGFR mutations, as Mig 6 levels increased, so did the resistance to EGFR inhibitors, suggesting a correlation between high Mig 6 and lack of response to the drugs. To confirm the correlation, the scientists tested tissue samples of 65 lung cancer patients treated with EGFR inhibitors to compare their Mig 6 levels with outcomes.

Of 18 patients with low Mig 6 levels, five of them survived more than a year without progression of their cancer; four survived more than two years progression-free. Among 16 patients with higher Mig 6 levels, two survived more than one year and none survived, progression-free, beyond two years.

"The beauty of this finding is that it's simple. We're looking for tumors with low levels of Mig 6 to predict clinical benefit, and there aren't many of them," says Sidransky.

Sidransky's team expects to license the Mig 6 marker to a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company and conduct further tests in larger groups of patients.


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Contact: Vanessa Wasta
wastava@jhmi.edu
410-614-2916
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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