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IntegraGen, PICCOLO Researchers Collaborate to Validate Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Biomarker

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – IntegraGen said on Tuesday it is collaborating with researchers from the PICCOLO study to validate a microRNA biomarker as a predictor of progression-free survival in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy.

The PICCOLO study is a randomized clinical trial comparing Camptosar (irinotecan) alone to irinotecan combined with the anti-EGFR antibody Vectibix (panitumumab) in the treatment of 460 KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer patients who progressed after being given fluoropyrimidine treatment with or without Eloxatin (oxaliplatin).

The researchers initially reported in Lancet Oncology in July 2013 that there was no difference in overall survival between the two study arms, but individuals in the panitumumab group had "significantly" better progress-free survival, compared to the control group, IntegraGen said. In the collaboration, the French firm will investigate the expression levels of the oncology biomarker hsa-miR-31-3p in primary tumors from patients enrolled in the PICCOLO study with the goal of confirming the ability of the biomarker to predict patient outcomes, it said.

"Our objective with this research is to meet the need for selection biomarkers beyond the current reliance on KRAS and refine positive or negative selection biomarkers in prospective clinical trials analysis for making the best use of an effective targeted therapy for the benefit of the patients," Matthew Seymour, a professor of gastrointestinal cancer medicine at theUniversityofLeedsand chief investigator for the PICCOLO study, said in a statement.