Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer Institute Study Points To Future Of Personalized Medicine

Date:
June 4, 2006
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
Targeted therapies that attack tumors at the molecular level are increasingly the treatment of choice for cancer patients. But future therapies are likely to be even more individually tailored, with drugs and dosages determined by the nature of the patient's tumor.

Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute.
Credit: Anne Ryback

Targeted therapies that attack tumors at the molecular level are increasingly the treatment of choice for cancer patients. But future therapies are likely to be even more individually tailored, with drugs and dosages determined by the nature of the patient's tumor.

Scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute and elsewhere have discovered that patients responded differently to the targeted therapy Sunitinib (Sutent) depending on the type of genetic abnormality in their cancer.

The study was led by Michael C. Heinrich, M.D., professor of medicine (hematology and medical oncology) in the OHSU School of Medicine and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and a member of the OHSU Cancer Institute. He will present results of the study on June 3 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Atlanta, Ga.

"This is about personalized medicine and how to get there," Heinrich said. "What we're finding out about cancer is that when choosing a therapy, one size doesn't fit all."

Imatinib (Gleevec), a drug originally developed at the OHSU Cancer Institute in collaboration with scientists at Novartis, was the first drug to demonstrate that molecular therapy works. Initially used to treat patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia, it has also proved successful in treating a rare stomach cancer called gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). But imatinib doesn't work for every GIST patient, and even when it does work, many GIST patients develop resistance to it.

Like imatinib, the oral drug Sunitinib is a targeted therapy, and it helps many GIST patients whose tumors are resistant to imatinib. Sunitinib interferes with a type of cellular protein known as a tyrosine kinase. It acts in two ways -- helping to shrink tumors and to keep them from growing new blood vessels. In January, 2006 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Suntinib for the treatment of imatinib-resistant GIST.

The study examined tumors in 97 GIST patients who were taking Sunitnib during Phase I/II clinical trials. It also assessed the relationship between the effectiveness of the drug and the the type of mutations present in a patient's tumor. All patients experienced clinical benefit from the drug, but the benefit was significantly influenced by the nature of the abnormality.

"As we learn what's broken, we are learning new treatments to go after what's broken -- what's driving the growth of the tumor," Heinrich said. "With certain genetic mutations, some drugs work better than others."

One finding was unexpected: Patients whose tumor mutations were associated with better responses to imatinib did worse on sunitinib, and vice versa.

The study has broad implications. "This is a study about GIST," Heinrich said, "but the big picture story is that in the future, when you are diagnosed with cancer, your physician will make sure the tumor is tested for specific gene mutations, and we will select your therapy based on what's wrong."

Henrich will also co-chair a satellite symposium on targeted therapies on June 2. In addition, Heinrich and Christopher L. Corless, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology in the OHSU School of Medicine and member of the OHSU Cancer Institute will participate in two "Meet the Professor" sessions on June 3 and June 5 titled "Technology Primer for Oncologists: Cell Signaling Pathways and Proliferation."

In addition to Heinrich and Corless, collaborators in the study are Robert G. Maki, M.D., Ph.D., and Cristina R. Antonescu, M.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; J.A. Fletcher, M.D., and Christopher D.M. Fletcher, M.D., M.B., Brigham & Women's Hospital; Xianming Huang, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Charles M. Baum, M.D., Pfizer, Inc.; and George D. Demetri, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "Cancer Institute Study Points To Future Of Personalized Medicine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060603091240.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2006, June 4). Cancer Institute Study Points To Future Of Personalized Medicine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060603091240.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "Cancer Institute Study Points To Future Of Personalized Medicine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060603091240.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins