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Research increases possibilities of personalizing treatment of infant osteosarcoma
Date:2/18/2009

This release is available in Spanish.

A team of specialists at the University Hospital of Navarra have revealed the existence of genetic variants that have greater resistance to a specific treatment and a greater toxicity of the pharmaceutical drug in some child patients affected by osteosarcoma. The team investigated the mechanisms of the illness in order to obtain a personalised therapeutic treatment in the future.

In concrete, the research focused on the analysis of the side effects due to the administration of methotrexate in a hundred of such patients. This medication was chosen because, to treat infant osteosarcoma, high levels of dosage are administered in terms of grammes being a multiplication by a thousand of the methotrexate dosage given in other, frequently-occurring cancer diseases, such as leukaemia. Such high dosage can cause very important toxic effects, and thus the need to know the genetic mechanisms bearing on the resistance to treatment and the tolerance to the pharmaceutical drug, explained Doctor Ana Patio, main research author of the article to be published in the scientific journal, The Journal of Pediatrics, the second with the greatest world impact in its speciality.

Notable amongst the team participating in the study is the biologist/biochemist Doctor Marta Zalacain, who suffered an osteosarcoma when she was 11 years old, and for which she was treated and cured at the University Hospital by a team led by Dr Sierrasesmaga, the group with which she is currently working on the mechanisms of this illness.

Large group of patients

The work was drawn up for a group of 100 patients, one of the largest in the world, given the scant incidence of the illness (estimated annually at one person per million inhabitants). To give an idea of the importance of the group studied by Doctor Sierra
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Contact: Oihane Lakar
oihane@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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