Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New marker of drug response may speed pace of lung cancer prevention trials

09.01.2013
Testing medicines to prevent lung cancer requires treating many thousands of high-risk individuals and then waiting 5, 10 or 15 years to discover which of them develop cancer and which, if any, experience survival benefit from the treatment.
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research proposes a possible waypoint on the way to benefit, which if validated, could dramatically reduce the number of patients needed and time required to test drugs for lung cancer prevention.

“Chemoprevention is an important approach that has been way behind in terms of scientific advances for lung cancer,” says Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and professor of medical oncology and pathology at the CU School of Medicine. “If we could find a surrogate endpoint for lung cancer mortality – an intermediate endpoint – it would make it much easier to conduct smaller trials in much shorter time.”

The original intent of the study was to discover certain microRNAs whose level of expression might predict patients likely to respond to the possible chemopreventive drug, Iloprost. If an especially high or low microRNA expression predicted response, it would allow researchers to test the drug only in the population most likely to benefit. Unfortunately, while levels of seven miRNAs were found to be correlated with the appearance of lung cancer, none predicted response to the drug.

It might have been a dead-end study if it weren’t for microRNA-34c.

To a striking degree, changes in the expression of this molecule six months after treatment correlated with benefit from the drug seen much later. In those who later showed benefit, microRNA-34c expression was down six months after treatment; in patients who showed no benefit, microRNA-34c expression remained unchanged.

“Instead of waiting for an endpoint 15 years in the future, we could potentially discover the effectiveness of chemopreventive agents only six months after treatment. It would speed up the pace of discovery and eventually bring new chemopreventive agents much faster to the market,” Hirsch says.

Hirsch cautions that his discovery, with CU Cancer Center colleagues including Celine Mascaux, MD, PhD, of this potential intermediate endpoint is just that: potential. Further work is needed to validate the predictive power of miRNA-34c in showing chemopreventive response. But Hirsch and colleagues are hopeful not only that miRNA-34c could be this predictive waypoint, but that the cutting edge technique of looking beneath genes, beneath even RNA and mRNA into the molecular world of microRNA will help them discover the roots of the disease.

“The approach is new and it needs to be further explored,” Hirsch says.

Garth Sundem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdenver.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>