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Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy
Date:8/1/2014

er is clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Treatment options include surgery, ablation or removal of the tumor, or targeted therapy to shrink or slow the growth of the cancer. The latter works by blocking the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) or important proteins in cancer cells (tyrosine kinase) that nourish the tumors and help them survive.

According to Dr. Min-Han Tan, there are currently about 250 new patients diagnosed with kidney cancer per year in Singapore. "Outcomes can be very different. Some patients can be observed for years on end, some benefit from immediate treatment including surgery or targeted therapy, and for some patients, treatment can be futile. Experience is required in making the right judgment for patients. We hope our assay will play a role in helping that judgment."

Targeted drugs are prescribed routinely for cancer patients. Revenues from anti-angiogenic drugs, such as Sutent and NexavarTM, are estimated at several billion dollars annually.

Such drugs, however, are not only expensive but may cause side effects in patients, including fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, pain, high blood pressure, bleeding and heart problems. Due to genetic variations, individual patients respond differently to these drugs and have different survival outcomes.

Pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions have invested heavily in seeking out tools and biomarkers to predict personalized outcomes with these therapies, and the development of a reliable anti-angiogenic predictor would be of significant interest to them.

Extensive molecular characterization of ccRCC by the team and other researchers worldwide in recent studies has suggested the existence of specific subtypes with different survival outcomes. The researchers therefore set out to discover reliable biomarkers that could improve the prognostic prediction, and identify patients who would be likely to benefit from one type of treatment.
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Contact: Hiroshi Limmell
hiroshi_limmell@a-star.edu.sg
65-947-41738
Biomedical Sciences Institutes (BMSI)
Source:Eurekalert  

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