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:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is ... emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical ... the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new ... the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., ... developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it was ... Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief ... shareholder awareness of our progress in developing drugs for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any ... the many challenges of the current process. Many of them ... because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. ... have to offer it at such a high cost that ... afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Capricor ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ... that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne ... exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects ... third quarter of 2016, and to report top ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: