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Personalized medicine: Tumor analysis reveals new opportunities for existing cancer drugs
Date:11/16/2010

her gene amplifications occurring in cancers other than those for which targeted therapies had been tested and approved.

The researchers also checked whether the amplifications were ones that were responsible for driving the growth of the various cancers. "We cannot be sure that in each case the DNA amplifications we studied were 'drivers' of cancer, but we can look for clues that the genes are likely to be the drivers," explained Dr Rhodes. "If the amplifications involved small, focal regions of the genome that included only the target or only a few genes, then it is more likely that the target gene was a 'driver'. Also, if the target gene was more frequently amplified and amplified at higher levels than neighbour genes, then again it is more likely that the target gene is the 'driver'. Thus, we examined the regions of amplification around the target genes and the most commonly amplified genes in the region and in almost all cases, our target gene under study was the most commonly and most highly amplified gene in the region."

Dr Rhodes concluded: "We envision our work motivating a DNA amplification-guided clinical trial that would test advanced cancer patients for DNA amplification of all relevant targets and then partition patients into treatment arms based on their particular amplification. Such an effort would be costly and could require hundreds of patients; however, our study provides the basis and the frequencies of amplifications that could be expected. We hope that this work will motivate clinicians to consider such an approach."


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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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