Yesterday we presented an overview of the use of Biomarkers(BM’s) for predictive use in the treatment of Lung Cancer. Here are some additional summaries from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting on Monday.Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia reported on a study the suggests that levels of the enzyme ERCC1 offer a predictive marker of survival in squamous carcinoma of the head and neck. The findings will help guide treatment for patients who will or not responder to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin compared to alternative agents.The principle investigator for the study,Ranee Mehra a mediacl oncologist said “This is definitely a step toward personalized medicine. When we saw there was a survival difference in patients who received the treatment based on this biomarker we were very excited.”Enzyme found to be a predictive marker of survival in head and neck cancer
Researchers at Johns Hopkins evaluated a simple,specific blood test that identifies patients undergoing proactive surveillance for low-grade,low stage,non-palpable prostate cancer who would eventually require treatment. The test called a Prostate Health Index developed by Beckman-Coulter (BEC) is a calculation of three forms of free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) of which pro-PSA is one. Robert W. Veltri, Ph.D., associate Professor of urology and oncology said, “Finding biomarkers that can predict future unfavorable biopsy conversion will help us to identify men with prostate cancer who may or may not need treatment.”Veltri is trying to understand whether prostate testing over diagnosis and over treats prostate cancer.Biomarkers help predict prostate cancer progression
A routine blood test that has been used for many years for inflammation may be a sign of colon cancer. Gong-Yang M.D. , MPH of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center measured CRP levels in 75,000 Chinese women.The researchers found that women with CRP levels in the highest quartile had a 2.5x greater risk of colon cancer compared to those in the lowest quartile. Yang believes that high CRP levels may arise largely from the patient’s inflammatory response to cancer and may be a “risk marker.”Blood test for inflammation may be sign of colon cancer
Researchers at University of Alabama at Birmingham(UAB) have discovered a set of four biomarkers that will help predict which patients are more likely to to develop aggressive colorectal cancer and which are not. Liselle Bovell a graduate student working in the laboratory of associate Professor of Pathology Upender Manne, Ph.D. discovered that patients who tested positive for higher levels of a genetic marker called microRNA(miRNA) had increased chances for death after being treated for colon cancer.UAB researchers find 4 biomarkers important in colorectal cancer treatment prognosis
And an article unrelated to AACR the NYT writer Gina Kolata questioned the accuracy of an emerging biomarker test for cancer called HER2 which targets therapy for expensive cancer drugs Herceptin and Tykerb.