Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers identify gene set that shows which patients benefit from chemo after surgery

Lung cancer researchers have identified a genetic signature that can help doctors determine which patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer are at high risk for developing disease recurrence and therefore may benefit from chemotherapy after surgery ("adjuvant chemotherapy").

"The findings give patients and their doctors a clearer map of the appropriate post-operative treatment route to follow. Not all patients benefit from chemotherapy after surgery and those with less aggressive cancer may be spared from the potentially debilitating side effects of this treatment," says principal investigator Dr. Ming Tsao, pathologist at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Cancer Program, University Health Network (UHN), and Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. He also holds the M. Qasim Choksi Chair in Lung Cancer Translational Research at UHN.

"Our study was rigorously validated by multiple testing across data from different patient populations and so we believe these findings can be applied generally to other patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer," says Dr. Tsao.

"The ability to tell whether a particular patient is a good candidate for adjuvant chemotherapy will bring us closer to our goals of improving patient care through personalized medicine," adds study collaborator Dr. Frances Shepherd, PMH medical oncologist and holder of the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research at UHN.

The study, published online today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO 64325), advances the 2005 findings of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group study JBR.10, conducted in collaboration with the U.S. National Cancer Institute. The JBR.10 findings showed significant survival benefit from the anti-cancer drugs vinorelbine and cisplatin in patients with early-stage (stage I and II) non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors had been surgically removed. Dr. Tsao's research team and collaborators at NCIC Clinical Trials Group at Queen's University performed a genetic analysis of tumor tissue from 133 of the 482 patients from the JBR.10 study who had banked frozen tumor samples.

The Tsao team identified a set of 15 genes that, in 62 patients who did not receive chemotherapy after surgery, predicted which patients had aggressive cancers with high risk of recurrence and death (31 patients), and which had less aggressive disease and low risk of recurrence (31 patients).

They then applied the signature to 71 patients who were randomized to receive chemotherapy in the JBR.10 trial. Patients predicted to have aggressive disease experienced the greatest benefit from chemotherapy - with a 67 percent reduction in the risk of death - while chemotherapy did not reduce the risk of death in patients designated as low risk.

While a previous JBR.10 analysis showed that overall only patients with stage II disease benefited from chemotherapy after surgery, Dr. Tsao's study demonstrates that the 15 gene signature may identify patients with both stage I and II cancers who may benefit from post-operative chemotherapy.

The research was supported by the Canadian Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute in the United States. Drs. Tsao and Shepherd, clinician-scientists at the hospital's research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, which includes the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute, are also supported by the PMH Foundation and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.

Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm Ontario Cancer Institute, which includes the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute, have achieved an international reputation as global leaders in the fight against cancer. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are research hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto. For more information, go to

The NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) is a cancer clinical trials cooperative group that conducts phase I-III trials testing anti-cancer and supportive therapies across Canada and internationally. It is one of the national programmes and networks of the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI), and is supported by the CCSRI with funds raised by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). The NCIC CTG's Central Office is located at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Jane Finlayson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>