Genetics may play a role in the success of anti-cancer therapy, according to researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital. Their study, published in todays issue of Clinical Cancer Research, shows that some colorectal cancer patients with a particular gene mutation respond much better to therapy than those without this genetic change.
"Our findings are important," says Dr. Rima Rozen acting Scientific Director of the Research Institute of the MUHC and senior author. "They demonstrate that colorectal cancer patients who have a particular genetic change, the MTHFR variant, will respond better to fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy than those patients without this genetic mutation. This suggests that therapy should be individualized. Patients with the MTHFR variant should be identified and appropriate chemotherapy should be administered."
"This finding may provide hope to the 10% to 15% of colorectal cancer patients who have the MTHFR variant" says co-author Dr. Victor Cohen, oncologist at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital (JGH) and researcher at the JGHs Lady Davis Institute (LDI) for Medical Research. "Although these are preliminary findings, they suggest these patients will respond well to fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy and consequently may have a better prognosis. Larger scale studies are needed to determine the long term consequence of having this gene variant."
Christine Zeindler | EurekAlert!
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