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Groundbreaking Approach to Predicting Cancer Patients' Response to Treatment Featured in Science Magazine
Date:10/27/2011

BOSTON and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A potentially groundbreaking approach to predicting cancer patient response to certain treatments is described today in the electronic version of Science Magazine.  The paper describing the technology, called BH3 profiling, is published by Dr. Anthony Letai and colleagues at Boston's Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The technology assesses the ability of a key part of the cancer cell to respond to chemotherapies. This understanding provides a powerful tool for physicians to gauge ahead of time if a particular cancer treatment will, or will not work in a given patient and can be used to guide the use of existing drugs.

Letai explained, "Our experiments with BH3 profiling demonstrate that understanding of the pretreatment tumor mitochondria can offer valuable predictive information about clinical response.  As such, BH3 profiling has the potential to personalize therapy for cancer patients by predicting the quality of a patient's response to a given treatment."

This capability is in line with an FDA draft guidance document issued in July of this year calling for companion diagnostic tests for targeted therapies.

The job of commercializing this assay has been assumed by Cambridge, MA based Eutropics Pharmaceuticals, where Dr. Letai serves as chair of the SAB. Eutropics has exclusively licensed the technology from Dana Farber. Currently the test is being developed by the company for use in guiding treatments for multiple myeloma and acute myelogenous leukemia patients.

"Eutropics is uniquely positioned to provide this important test that will help cancer patients receive the appropriate treatments," said Dr. Michael Cardone, CEO of Eutropics Pharmaceuticals.  Eutropics' effort to commercialize the BH3 profiling assay is being done in collaboration with Dana Farber Cancer Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical School, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the Nationa
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SOURCE Eutropics Pharmaceuticals
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