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USC researchers identify genetic markers that predict efficacy of novel cancer drug
Date:5/29/2008

read, 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.


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Contact: Meghan Lewit
lewit@usc.edu
213-700-0322
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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