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Genomic Markers Shown to Predict Efficacy of Ovarian Cancer Therapy

NEW YORK, March 19 - Results of a study conducted by oncology researchers show that genomic markers can predict the success of ovarian cancer treatment.


The study, presented on Tuesday at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists meeting, held in Miami Beach, Fla., sought to identify markers that could help predict patient response to a common chemotherapeutic treatment for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.


Researchers led by Mayo Clinic oncologist Lynn Hartmann and Edwin Clark of Millennium Pharmaceuticals' Predictive Medicine division compared 51 samples from advanced ovarian cancer tumors. The tumors that recurred within 21 months were deemed drug-resistant, and those that did not reappear for more than 21 months were considered sensitive to the therapy.

The mRNA expression levels of each of 30,000 genes was analyzed using Millennium cDNA arrays, generating more than 1.5 million data points. The team analyzed the results to identify a subset of genes that were most closely correlated with drug response.


The team then applied this information to a separate set of 28 tumor samples, and ultimately came up with a set of 14 candidate genes that could predict tumor sensitivity with 86 percent accuracy.


The results "need to be corroborated in other sample sets from ovarian cancer patients," Hartmann said in a statement. Nonetheless, she said, the study suggests that pharmacogenomic approaches may be useful in the treatment of this cancer.

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