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Genetic signature may predict recurrence in colon cancer patients

sed to identify the genetic markers that can best discriminate between these two groups of patients, ultimately reaching the final 23-gene combination.

The signature was then validated in 36 independent patients, accurately predicting 13 of 18 relapse patients and 15 of 18 disease-free patients, for an overall performance accuracy of 78 percent a rate unprecedented for this type of test in colon cancer, says Atkins.

Additional studies will be needed, Atkins cautions, but if validated this prognostic marker could have broad implications, including, potentially providing guidance in recommending adjuvant chemotherapy for certain Dukes' B patients. Furthermore, the ability to stratify this patient class into different risk groups could be a useful tool for aiding the development of new, targeted therapies for the disease.

"It is well known that cancer is not a homogeneous disease; it can be broken down into still more categories or stages than are currently standard," adds Atkins. "The development of a prognostic assay to test for this genetic signature should allow physicians to better identify patients with a poorer prognosis and plan for more appropriate, even more aggressive, therapies. The data from this study shows that such an assay is highly feasible."


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Contact: Stephanie Hughes Koenig
steph.hughes@gabbe.com
212-220-4444
Gabbe Group
29-Apr-2004


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