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TGen-VARI-SHC research helps predict success with cancer drugs
Date:6/14/2010

PHOENIX, Ariz. June 14, 2010 Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare have discovered a biomarker that could help in the treatment of patients with an aggressive type of lung cancer.

Using a particular biomarker, researchers might better predict which patients with small cell lung cancer are resistant to existing drug therapies, and which ones could benefit from new therapies tailored to their specific needs, according to a scientific paper published today in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

"There is a need for predictive biomarkers that can aid investigators in designing future clinical trials, to help identify treatments that might be effective for these patients who most likely will be resistance to existing drug therapies, " said Dr. Glen J. Weiss, the paper's senior author and Director of Thoracic Oncology at TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare. TCRS is a partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare that helps bring new therapies quickly to patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale.

Nearly 220,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with lung cancer, which is by far the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., annually killing nearly 160,000 patients.

Of all lung cancer patients, an estimated 33,000 are diagnosed with SCLC. This is a particularly aggressive disease that usually goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage and treatment options are limited. More than 95 percent of SCLC patients eventually die from the disease.

Researchers from TGen, VARI and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare focused on identifying microRNAs, which are single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate how genes and proteins control cellular development. Because microRNAs are so resilient, they are relatively easy to detect in
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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