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Study Identifies New Patient Response Biomarker for Colorectal Cancer Therapy

Despite advances in precision cancer medicine, there is still an unmet need for patient selection biomarkers for many chemotherapies. For example, the metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) drug cocktail trifluridine/tipiracil (FTD/TPI) offers durable responses in some patients but only a very modest survival benefit in the general mCRC population. To gain insights into why some patients respond well to FTD/TPI and others do not, researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute and elsewhere performed a whole-genome analysis of 37 mCRC patients treated with the chemotherapy, identifying KRAS codon G12 mutations as a potential biomarker of resistance. They then examined real-world data for 960 patients with mCRC receiving FTD/TPI, validating that the mutations were significantly associated with poor survival. Data on hundreds of mCRC patients who participated in a global Phase III of FTD/TPI, meanwhile, further established KRAS codon G12 mutations as predictive biomarkers for reduced overall survival benefit of the chemotherapy. The findings, which the researchers report in Nature Medicine, point to KRAS codon G12 mutations as important biomarkers for identifying patients who will respond poorly to FTD/TPI and highlight the power of genomics-based personalized medicine, they write.

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.