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Study makes progress in zoning in on biomarkers for better colon cancer treatment
Date:9/26/2007

hich biomarkers will be clinically useful, which are probably not and which will have the most impact. There have been a lot of studies of limited scope previously, but nothing conclusive, Roth said.

The researchers examined potentially promising biomarkers in 1,564 samples, preserved as part of a chemotherapy study, of healthy and cancerous colon tissue from patients operated on in more than 368 hospitals in Europe. More than 10 molecular markers were investigated with a high success rate (>90%), demonstrating the methods feasibility with routinely processed tissue.

If one of those markers is strongly linked to the reaction to chemotherapy, it might be useful to test in a clinical trial its value in deciding whether to give chemotherapy or not, Roth said.

For instance, its early in our analysis, but SMAD4 is looking quite good, in that patients with high SMAD4 expression had a significantly better prognosis than those with low expression. It would have to be investigated further, but maybe patients who strongly express the SMAD4 gene dont need any additional therapy after surgery.

On the other hand, in this patient population with adjuvant therapy, we found that KRAS, a type of gene called an oncogene that is involved in regulating cell division, has no prognostic value whatsoever zero. So we think KRAS can be abandoned as a potential prognostic biomarker for colon cancer, Roth added.


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Contact: Emma Ross
rosswrite@mac.com
34-932-308-832
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference
Source:Eurekalert

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