Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Gene chip data improved therapy in some patients with incurable cancer

September 20, 2007
ATLANTA - Like many oncologists, Eric P. Lester, M.D., was faced with a dilemma: seven patients with advanced, incurable cancer, an arsenal of drugs that may or may not help them, and not enough solid proof about treatment efficacy to guide him. So Dr. Lester devised what he called a "simple-minded experiment" that illustrates the promise of personalized medicine. Using DNA microarray "chips," Dr. Lester analyzed his patients' tumors for expression of genes associated with good response to various anti-cancer drugs, and based his drug treatment plans on the results. Four out of seven patients with advanced cancer enrolled in the extremely limited study had a better outcome than expected.

The finding, presented today in Atlanta, Ga. at the American Association for Cancer Research's second International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, shows that "a personalized molecular oncology approach, basing chemotherapy on relative gene expression in tumors, holds promise even at the relatively crude level employed here," said study investigator, Dr. Lester, president of Oncology Care Associates in St. Joseph, Mich.

To obtain and analyze chip data, Dr. Lester worked with Craig Webb, Ph.D., Director of Translational Medicine at the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The study is unusual because oncologists don't yet base most of their treatment decisions on gene profiling, especially when it might involve pairing drugs together in a novel combination or using varied doses, Dr. Lester said. "Much of clinical medicine is an educated guess, and this was an attempt to come up with a better approach by using the technology of a gene chip to make multiple, highly educated guesses simultaneously," Dr. Lester said.

Dr. Lester added that one of the seven participating patients died before the gene chip was used to direct therapy.

Many current clinical trials involving gene expression examine effectiveness markers for individual drugs rather than combinations of drugs or different doses of agents used together for the first time. To truly help the most patients, Dr. Lester said, all potentially effective drugs and combinations must be matched up against the unique genetic profile of a patient's tumor, he said.

"Effective cancer treatment depends on understanding the biology driving the cancer, but because each tumor is different, it is very hard to personalize care and do a rigorous scientific experiment at the same time."

In this study, Dr. Lester said he "stayed within the envelope of a reasonable standard of care" in treating his patients. That standard is often based on what insurance companies will typically reimburse for treatment given published studies about the effectiveness of a drug on a certain tumor type, and whether or not the drug is federally approved for that indication. Dr. Lester and Webb surveyed the scientific literature and compiled a list of genes whose expression levels may predict response to a drug given the tumor type.

In some cases, treatment strategies suggested by the chips varied significantly even for the same type of cancer. For example, one patient whose lung cancer had spread to his brain and bones achieved a "near complete response" when treated with two chemotherapy drugs, in addition to Tarceva and Avastin, while another lung cancer patient responded to third-line drugs such as etoposide.

Acknowledging the risk involved with using novel combinations of drugs where no set safety profile exists, Dr. Lester said that "this is constantly done in medicine. People are taking antibiotics at the same time as using heart and cholesterol pills, and blood pressure medication."

"This kind of polypharmacy will become more common in cancer, but at the moment, it is hard to figure out the difference between doses that are effective or that could be toxic," he said.

The best way to get around such issues is to build a database of gene expression data and match them with patient outcomes, he said. "Now when I see new patients I am itching to look at what the genes can tell me," Dr. Lester said. "It is a smarter way to treat cancer."

American Association for Cancer Research


Related Cancer Current Events and Cancer News Articles


University of Kentucky reports HIV/AIDS drugs could be repurposed to treat AMD
A landmark study published today in the journal Science by an international group of scientists, led by the laboratory of Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, professor & vice chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Kentucky, reports that HIV/AIDS drugs that have been used for the last 30 years could be repurposed to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as other inflammatory disorders, because of a previously undiscovered intrinsic and inflammatory activity those drugs possess.

Study: Doubling saturated fat in the diet does not increase saturated fat in blood
Doubling or even nearly tripling saturated fat in the diet does not drive up total levels of saturated fat in the blood, according to a controlled diet study.

Possibilities for personalized vaccines revealed at ESMO symposium
The possibilities for personalised vaccines in all types of cancer are revealed today in a lecture from Dr Harpreet Singh at the ESMO Symposium on Immuno-Oncology 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors may work in brain cancers
New evidence that immune checkpoint inhibitors may work in glioblastoma and brain metastases was presented today by Dr Anna Sophie Berghoff at the ESMO Symposium on Immuno-Oncology 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

New model of follow up for breast cancer patients
Public health researchers from the University of Adelaide have evaluated international breast cancer guidelines, finding that there is potential to improve surveillance of breast cancer survivors from both a patient and health system perspective.

Obesity-attributable absenteeism among US workers costs the nation more than $8 billion annually
A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health shows that obesity costs the U.S. $8.65 billion per year as a result of absenteeism in the workplace --more than 9% of all absenteeism costs.

Research shows anti-HIV medicines can cause damage to fetal hearts
A study by a Wayne State University and Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center research team is shedding new light on the troubling question of whether the drugs often given to HIV-positive pregnant women can cause significant long-term heart problems for the non-HIV-infected babies they carry.

Women with serious mental illness less likely to receive cancer screenings
Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings - Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams - than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical comorbidities and early death, a new study indicates.

Clipping proteins that package genes may limit abnormal cell growth in tumors
Changes to the structure of the protein histone H3.3 may play a key role in silencing genes that regulate cancer cell growth, according to a study led by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published online this month in the journal Nature Communications.

For Important Tumor-Suppressing Protein, Context is Key
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have learned new details about how an important tumor-suppressing protein, called p53, binds to the human genome. As with many things in life, they found that context makes a big difference.
More Cancer Current Events and Cancer News Articles

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Author)


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and...

Anticancer: A New Way of Life

Anticancer: A New Way of Life
by David Servan-Schreiber (Author)


Anticancer has been a bestselling phenomenon since Viking first published it in fall 2008. Now, a new edition addresses current developments in cancer research and offers more tips on how people living with cancer can fight it and how healthy people can prevent it. The new edition of Anticancer includes:

• The latest research on anticancer foods, including new alternatives to sugar and cautions about some that are now on the market
• New information about how vitamin D strengthens the immune system
• Warnings about common food contaminants that have recently been proven to contribute to cancer progression
• A new chapter on mind-body approaches to stress reduction, with recent studies that show how our reactions to stress can interfere with...

Cancer: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was First Diagnosed: Tips and Advice From a Survivor

Cancer: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was First Diagnosed: Tips and Advice From a Survivor
by Michele Ryan (Author)


A cancer diagnosis results, understandably, in fear and uncertainty. Once the initial shock passes, the questions begin. Some are medical in nature: What are your treatment options? Some are intensely personal: How do you tell your children? Will your hair grow back after chemo? How will the disease affect your sex life and relationships? In Cancer: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was First Diagnosed, ten-year breast cancer survivor Michele Ryan answers these questions and more. Michele's common sense advice and practical tips provide a comprehensive road map to help navigate the basic challenges of life with cancer. She covers everything from how to evaluate your health insurance to what to pack for hospital stays, all carefully laid out in an easy-to-navigate format so readers can find...

Cancer: Step Outside the Box

Cancer: Step Outside the Box
by Ty M. Bollinger (Author)


Now in its 6th Edition (recently updated in 2014) and with over 150,000 copies sold since 2006, Cancer-Step Outside the Box is a “must-have” book that everyone should own. According to Dr. Rashid Buttar, author of The 9 Steps to Keep the Doctor Away, “Ty Bollinger's book, Cancer-Step Outside the Box, is an extraordinarily thorough and courageously well written book, brought to fruition by the dedication of a son for his departed parents. I found it difficult to put down this exceptional book once I began reading it and plan on recommending it to all my patients suffering from cancer who seek treatment at our clinic so that the light of truth and hope contained within this book can shine brightly on them as well.” In the words of cancer survivor, Brad Matznick, “I am not a...

Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: 2013 Edition

Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: 2013 Edition
by Greg Anderson (Author)


The ground-breaking classic guide to surviving cancer?now completely updated!

Revised and updated for the first time since 1999, this invaluable guide to cancer recovery offers an easily accessible plan for patients and family members. Written by a cancer survivor, the book is an inspiring, action-oriented roadmap for those who choose to adopt a stance of hope and take charge of their diagnosis.

With penetrating insights that bring together more than two decades of scientifically supported research and experience, Anderson reveals a step-by-step holistic action plan that has been successfully employed by hundreds of thousands of cancer patients worldwide. Anderson?s message is: ?You must not simply treat illness, you must also create wellness?physically, emotionally and...

Cancer: Cancer Cure: Natural Cancer Cures And Chemo Alternatives (Cancer,Cancer Cure,Cancer Diet,Coping With Cancer,Cancer Books,Breast Cancer,Lung Cancer,Leukemia,Colon Cancer,Skin Cancer)

Cancer: Cancer Cure: Natural Cancer Cures And Chemo Alternatives (Cancer,Cancer Cure,Cancer Diet,Coping With Cancer,Cancer Books,Breast Cancer,Lung Cancer,Leukemia,Colon Cancer,Skin Cancer)


Find Out About The Amazing Natural Cancer Cures That Are Alternatives To Chemotherapy
Today only, get this Amazon bestseller for just $0.99. Regularly priced
at $4.99. Read on your PC, Mac, smart phone, tablet or Kindle device.

You’re about to discover some natural cures that can help fight cancer and leave you with a higher life expectancy overall. Find out what the media makes you think about cancer and why Chemotherapy is NOT your only option. Buy this book and learn more than ever.

Here Is A Preview Of What You'll Learn...
What Cancer Is Media And CancerWhy Not To Do ChemotherapyNatural Cancer Treatments How To Afford Treatmentb>Download your copy today!

Take action today and download this book for a limited time discount...

The Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses

The Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses
by Charlotte Gerson (Author), Morton Walker (Author)


Cancer. Hepatitis. Migraines. Arthritis. Heart Disease. Emphysema. For years, the medical establishment has called these chronic or life- threatening diseases "incurable." But now, The Gerson Therapy offers hope for those seeking relief from hundreds of different diseases. Juice your way to wellness. One of the first alternative cancer therapies, The Gerson Therapy has successfully treated thousands of patients for over 60 years.

Now, in this authoritative revised and updated edition, alternative medicine therapist Charlotte Gerson and medical journalist Morton Walker reveal even more on the powerful healing effects of organic fruits and vegetables. Not only can juicing reverse the effects of many degenerative illnesses-it can save lives. The Gerson Therapy shows you:
...

The Biology of Cancer, 2nd Edition

The Biology of Cancer, 2nd Edition
by Robert A. Weinberg (Author)


Thoroughly updated and incorporating the most important advances in the fast-growing field of cancer biology, The Biology of Cancer, Second Edition, maintains all of its hallmark features admired by students, instructors, researchers, and clinicians around the world. The Biology of Cancer is a textbook for students studying the molecular and cellular bases of cancer at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school levels. The principles of cancer biology are presented in an organized, cogent, and in-depth manner. The clarity of writing, supported by an extensive full-color art program and numerous pedagogical features, makes the book accessible and engaging. The information unfolds through the presentation of key experiments that give readers a sense of discovery and provide insights...

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
by Rebecca Katz (Author), Mat Edelson (Author)


A Culinary Pharmacy in Your Pantry

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen features 150 science-based, nutrient-rich recipes that are easy to prepare and designed to give patients a much-needed boost by stimulating appetite and addressing treatment side effects including fatigue, nausea, dehydration, mouth and throat soreness, tastebud changes, and weight loss. A step-by-step guide helps patients nutritionally prepare for all phases of treatment, and a full nutritional analysis accompanies each recipe. This remarkable resource teaches patients and caregivers how to use readily available powerhouse ingredients to build a symptom- and cancer-fighting culinary toolkit. Blending fantastic taste and meticulous science, these recipes for soups, vegetable dishes, proteins, and sweet and savory snacks...

Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds

Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds
by Kelly A. Turner (Author)


In her New York Times bestseller, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, Dr. Kelly A. Turner, founder of the Radical Remission Project, uncovers nine factors that can lead to a spontaneous remission from cancer—even after conventional medicine has failed.While getting her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkley, Dr. Turner, a researcher, lecturer, and counselor in integrative oncology, was shocked to discover that no one was studying episodes of radical (or unexpected) remission—when people recover against all odds without the help of conventional medicine, or after conventional medicine has failed.  She was so fascinated by this kind of remission that she embarked on a ten month trip around the world, traveling to ten different countries to interview fifty...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com