Navigation Links
USC researchers identify genetic markers that predict efficacy of novel cancer drug

Chicago, Ill.--Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) and USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified genetic markers in cancer cells that predicted the benefit of a novel cancer drug prior to chemotherapy.

Researchers looked at the effect of the drug PTK/ZK--a novel therapy designed to inhibit the development of cancer blood vessels--in combination with chemotherapy. The findings suggest that patients with tumors with a specific gene expression profile may benefit most from the incorporation of this drug into their treatment.

The results of the study will be presented as an oral presentation Saturday, May 31, at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held at McCormick Place in Chicago.

"Our research shows that tumor blood vessel formation is critical for tumor growth and that the mechanisms in place controlling tumor blood vessel development are complex," says Peter M. Wilson, senior post-doctoral research fellow at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and lead author of the study. "When we understand how drugs like PTK/ZK work, we can develop treatment strategies to maximize their impact by identifying patients who will benefit most from their use."

The drug regulates angiogenesis, a process of blood vessel formation that provides nutrients and oxygen to cancerous growths, says Wilson. As tumor cells grow, they increase the levels of a key protein called Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1a (HIF1a) in order to deal with the oxygen depletion. HIF1a results in the tumor cell producing a number of other proteins that assist in promoting blood vessel growth. One of the most important of these is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that is released by the tumor and binds to receptors on blood vessels, promoting their growth toward the tumor.

Disrupting the growth of new blood vessels toward a growing tumor will effectively slow tumor growth and spread, he says.

The PTK/ZK was tested in two large clinical trials in patients with metastatic colon cancer. The drug appeared to work well in a subset of patients who had high levels of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)--one of the major targets of HIF1a signaling. Researchers successfully associated genes within this pathway with increased patient benefit from PTK/ZK treatment.

"It is important to note that this is the first study in which we were able to show that gene expression levels (markers) predict efficacy of novel agents targeting tumor blood vessel formation," says Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., professor of medicine at the Keck School and the principal investigator on the study. "These markers need to be validated in other clinical trials but are the first step to developing a diagnostic test for clinicians to decide which patients will benefit from inhibitors of the VEGFR."

The data also provides insight into the importance of regulating angiogenesis, and the mechanisms of resistance against new drugs, Lenz says. This information is critical in order to develop more effective and novel drugs using genes as a target.

"The future of colorectal cancer treatment will incorporate such markers in ‘individualized treatment' where a patient will receive an effective chemotherapy based on their own genetic makeup and genetic markers within their tumors," Wilson says.


Contact: Meghan Lewit
University of Southern California

Related medicine news :

1. Fireflies glow helps UT Southwestern researchers track cancer drugs effectiveness
2. Establishing a Price for Carbon Emissions in the U.S. Would Spur Immediate Reductions in Energy Consumption and More Efficient Use of Power Generators, Study by Carnegie Mellon Researchers Shows
3. Fruit fly protein acts as decoy to capture tumor growth factors, find Penn researchers
4. Researchers from 5 countries to test hygiene hypothesis with EU funding
5. UCLA researchers identify leukemia stem cells
6. Increased screening may better predict those at higher risk for heart disease, researchers report
7. Mayo Clinic researchers find common gene disorder doubles risk of lung cancer, even among nonsmokers
8. Researchers find roadmap to next-generation cancer therapies
9. Monitoring blood flow helps improve prostate biopsies, Jefferson researchers report
10. 2008 LOreal USA Fellowships For Women in Science Awarded to Five Groundbreaking Researchers
11. Researchers explore the emerging role of infection in Alzheimers disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental ... health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... safe and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he invented ... way to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could help ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed ... 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or ... to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a ... will bridge the knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the ... a version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)... 2015  The GE Health Cloud 1 was unveiled ... North America (RSNA) meeting in ... the new cloud ecosystem and its applications will connect radiologists ... and multidisciplinary teams – both inside and outside the hospital ... of GE. "As the digital industrial leader, we are betting ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... 29, 2015   National Decision Support Company (NDSC) ... base, including notable statewide implementations. As a result, ... ACR Select, more than 1 million times per ... ACR Select provides real-time feedback on the most ... has been implemented at over 100 healthcare systems ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... 27, 2015 --> ... go online. The potential to save costs, improve treatment ... far from fully exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis ... either via mobile tablet or directly at the patients, ... ) -->      (Photo: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: