Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New results help predict treatment response in colorectal cancer

16.09.2008
Genetic testing can identify a group of patients with advanced colorectal cancer who are likely to survive on average twice as long if treated with the drug cetuximab, late breaking results show.

At the 33rd Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Stockholm, Dr. Christos Karapetis from Flinders University in Australia reports on a genetic analysis of 394 patients who took part in a phase III study comparing the monoclonal antibody cetuximab with best supportive care.

The latest analysis compared the effect of mutations in the K-Ras gene on overall survival and progression-free survival. The gene encodes a protein that is a key component of cellular signalling pathways, conveying extracellular growth signals from the cell surface to the nucleus. When growth factors bind to cell surface receptors, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), K-Ras is temporarily activated, facilitating regulated cell growth and proliferation.

The K-Ras gene is mutated in up to 35% of colorectal cancers. These mutations keep K-Ras stuck in its active form, switching on signalling without the requirement for EGFR stimulation.

Dr. Karapetis and colleagues found that patients with mutated forms of K-Ras had a median overall survival of 4.6 months when treated with cetuximab, and 4.5 moths with supportive care. In contrast, among those with wild-type forms, overall survival jumped to 9.5 months when treated with cetuximab, compared to 4.8 months with best supportive care.

The results show that determining K-Ras mutation status should be considered a new standard of care for selecting patients for targeted therapies against EGFR, the authors say.

Also at the congress, Professor Eric Van Cutsem from University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven in Belgium will present data on the impact of K-Ras mutations from the Crystal study, in which patients were randomized to either the chemotherapy combination “FOLFIRI” or FOLFIRI plus cetuximab, in first line metastatic colorectal cancer.

Professor Van Cutsem recently reported that the combination of cetuximab and FOLFIRI significantly improves progression free survival and response rate in patients with a K-Ras wild type. In Stockholm he will present new data on survival in the Crystal trial.

“Overall survival in all patients included in the trial was identical in both treatment arms. There was however a strong trend towards a longer survival in patients with a K-Ras wild type tumor treated with cetuximab/FOLFIRI,” he said. The median survival was 24.9 months for patients who received the cetuximab combination, versus 21.0 months (HR: 0.84). The overall survival results in patients with K-Ras mutant tumors did not differ in the two study arms.

In another study, Dr. Miriam Koopman from the University Nijmegen Medical Centre St. Radboud in The Netherlands, reports that the number of tumor cells found circulating in the blood of patients with advanced colorectal cancer is another valuable predictor of survival.

Her group studied 467 patients who were being treated within a prospective clinical trial (CAIRO2 of the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group) with chemotherapy plus bevacizumab, with or without the addition of cetuximab. In each patient they measured levels of circulating tumor cells before treatment, and at different stages during treatment.

“Circulating tumor cell (CTC) level might be an indicator of the aggressiveness of disease,” Dr. Koopman explained. “Thus, a high CTC level before initiating therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer patients is an inferior prognostic factor in our study.”

The results show that the median progression-free survival time for patients with less than three CTC in every 7.5mL of blood was 10.5 months, compared to 8.2 months for those with three or more. Furthermore the median overall survival time for patients with less than three CTC in every 7.5mL of blood was 22.2 months, compared to 13.7 months for those with three or more.

“In our study CTC in metastatic colorectal cancer patients proves to be an early prognostic marker,” Dr. Koopman said. “Prospective trials are needed to investigate whether a change in therapy based on CTC is beneficial.”

Vanessa Pavinato | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esmo.org

Further reports about: CTC Cetuximab EGFR FOLFIRI K-Ras gene cell surface chemotherapy colorectal cancer tumor cells

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

nachricht A new approach to high insulin levels
18.09.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

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: 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...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

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

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

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>