NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Northern Ireland-based translational genomics company Almac Diagnostics announced today that it is embarking on an international, multi-center collaborative lung cancer study aimed at finding a prognostic gene expression signature for patients with early non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of lung cancer.
Research centers in the US, Canada, Asia, and Europe will participate in the study, which is being led by Queen’s University Belfast medical oncologist Dean Fennell. The team will analyze more than 1,500 non-small cell lung cancer tumor samples obtained from 15 research centers using Almac’s Cancer DSA microarray platform in an effort to identify a gene expression signature that predicts which patients will go on to have disease-free survival after surgery and which will relapse.
That signature, in turn, may lay the groundwork for a clinical test based on molecular subtypes that would aid in identifying high-risk patients who would most likely benefit from additional, adjuvant treatment.
“While it is now accepted that the use of adjuvant chemotherapy reduces the risk of recurrence in a minority of patients, no routinely used molecular test exists to select those patients at a high risk of recurrence,” Fennell said in a statement. “This large-scale gene expression study will generate the first such test capable of identifying patients with high risk NSCLC.”
The collaborators hope to develop a clinical test that will be submitted to international regulatory bodies for approval by 2010, Fennell added.
The Almac Cancer DSA array includes tens of thousands of transcripts that have been previously linked to lung cancer and allows the analysis of formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissue.