"Those patients can be directed toward options that include more aggressive, often customized therapeutic strategies," Glinsky said. "Many of those patients can consider clinical trial options that they may otherwise have overlooked or not feel justified.
"If you identify the ones who are at a high likelihood of therapy failure, and therefore are candidates for more aggressive and often individually designed therapies, required treatment can be initiated closer to the time of diagnosis rather than much later when the disease has spread and become incurable."
Those with this genetic portfolio also would be further encouraged to enroll in clinical trials with new therapies targeted to earlier stages of cancer progression, when the opportunity for success remains high.
"If these patients knew that they carried the poor prognosis profile of genes in 'the Death from Cancer Signature,' they may elect to become involved in studies that would improve their likelihood of reaching that five-year survival landmark, and beyond," Glinsky said.
Knowledge of the genetic and molecular markers associated with highly aggressive clinical course of cancer might ultimately lead to identification of crucial genetic pathways that can lead to lethal progression of disease and associated with therapy resistance phenotype. The components of these pathways would become attractive targets for development of novel, target-tailored individualized anti-cancer drugs.
Monitoring the Effectiveness of Anti-Cancer Therapies: Abstract 9243
A specific set or polymorphism of 40 genes comprises a "signature" that may predict patient response to chemoradiotherapy among esophageal cancer patients, according to research by Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., epidemiology professor at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
"The ability to forecast patient response to therapies enables clinicians to develop c
Contact: Russell Vanderboom, Ph.D.
American Association for Cancer Research