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Rosetta Genomics, UC Davis Partner on Patient Response to Bladder Cancer Treatment

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Rosetta Genomics today announced a deal with the University of California, Davis aimed at predicting patient response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer.

The partners will develop and validate a microRNA profile for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MI-BC) that may be used to predict response to such therapies. As part of the deal, UC Davis will continue its use of Rosetta's platforms and miRNAs to further discover new biomarkers and validate their results, Rosetta said.

Studies have already been initiated looking at 55 patients with MI-BC who are being treated at UC Davis Cancer Center with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. While the primary goal is to develop a miRNA profile of MI-BC, researchers also hope to gain insight into the mechanisms by which differentially expressed miRNAs mediate chemosensitivity.

Financial and other terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

According to Rosetta, about 30 percent of bladder cancer patients present with or will develop MI-BC. About half of such patients have a five-year survival rate, and studies have shown that neoadjuvant chemotherapy improves the survival rate.

Meanwhile, about only half of MI-BC patients respond to chemotherapy, a rate that has discouraged widespread adoption, Rosetta said. These patients typically have their bladders removed, a procedure that, nonetheless, has failed to improve the survival rates meaningfully during the past 25 years.

"We look forward to the opportunity to validate a microRNA biomarker that would predict the response among patients with bladder cancer to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, as the ability to predict which MI-BC patients will respond to such treatment will increase survival rates while minimizing unnecessary expense and exposure to treatment-associated toxicities," Ralph deVere White, director of the UC Davis Cancer Center and associate dean for cancer programs at UC Davis, said in a statement.

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