Patterns of genes that are active in tumor cells can predict whether patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are likely to be cured by chemotherapy, scientists reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers analyzed thousands of genes in lymphoma biopsy samples from patients with DLBCL and determined that the activity of as few as 17 genes could be used to predict patients’ response to treatment. "We’re able to reliably predict the survival of these patients using data from a small number of genes, indicating that this technique should be entirely manageable for routine use," said National Cancer Institute (NCI) investigator Louis M. Staudt, M.D, Ph.D., the senior author on the study.
DLBCL is the most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in adults. Approximately 16,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year, and standard chemotherapy for the disease is effective in only 40 percent of patients. Profiling gene expression in patients’ tumors may help clinicians decide which patients are suitable candidates for standard therapy and which should consider other options for treatment.
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