Genes and biomarkers that allow doctors to choose the right therapy for the right patient

LOS ANGELES -- Genetic and epigenetic variations ensure that no two people are exactly alike, and the same holds true for any two cancers. Now, researchers have the tools and the knowledge to help predict how individuals will respond to cancer therapies, enabling them to create more effective therapies for individual cancers personalized medicine. At the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, researchers present new biomarkers and techniques for determining biomarkers that could determine how an individual might respond to drug or radiation therapy.

Molecular predictors of drug response in breast cancer: Abstract 4963

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have identified gene expression signatures that could serve as biomarkers to predict how individuals will respond to the breast cancer drugs lapatinib and CI-1040. Their findings could help in individualizing treatments for women, and their methodologies could aid in identifying similar biomarkers for responses to other drugs and for other types of cancer.

"Individuals respond differently to different therapeutics because there are substantial differences in the spectrum of genetic, biological and epigenetic characteristics between breast cancers, although some recurrent abnormality patterns are emerging that define breast cancer subtypes" said Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., staff scientist and director of the Life Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "We need better ways to identify how we can best tailor existing therapies to individuals and how to target experimental agents."

Gray and his colleagues have developed a system to evaluate drug response comprised of a panel of 50 breast cancer cell lines. Each of these cell lines represents a single variant among the different genomic abnormalities found among breast cancers. They measured molecular profiles of each cell line and used these to identify

Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg
American Association for Cancer Research

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