Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have identified a biomarker that can predict how well individual colon cancer patients will respond to a common chemotherapy regimen. This finding is a significant step forward in the goal of personalizing cancer treatment. Medical oncologist Neal J. Meropol, M.D., director of the gastrointestinal cancer program at Fox Chase, presented the study today in New Orleans at the 40th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
The study involves an enzyme that is important in activating capecitabine. Capecitabine is a commonly used oral chemotherapy drug that is converted into its active form by the enzyme thymidine phosphorylase (TP). TP is found in some, but not all, cancers. Capecitabine (marketed by Roche under the name Xeloda) in combination with irinotecan ( marketed by Pfizer under the name Camptosar) is a chemotherapy regimen being developed to treat advanced colon cancer patients.
Meropols study was designed to see if a correlation exists between how well a patient with metastatic colorectal cancer responds to chemotherapy with capecitabine plus irinotecan, and whether or not the amount of TP in the tumor predicted success with therapy. The study included 67 patients, ranging in age from 40 to 81, who had received no prior chemotherapy for their metastatic disease.
Karen C. Mallet | EurekAlert!
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