Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biomarkers predict effectiveness of radiation treatments for cancer

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
Beaumont Health System
Summary:
The effectiveness of radiation treatments for patients with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck has been reviewed by an international team of researchers. They identified two biomarkers that were good at predicting a patient's resistance to radiation therapy. "While our findings are encouraging, and a step toward personalized medicine, we hope to do more of this research with a larger, randomized trial," the authors conclude.

Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D., clinical director, BioBank and George Wilson, Ph.D., scientific director, BioBank.
Credit: Image courtesy of Beaumont Health System

An international team of researchers, led by Beaumont Health System's Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D., looked at biomarkers to determine the effectiveness of radiation treatments for patients with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. They identified two markers that were good at predicting a patient's resistance to radiation therapy. Their findings were published in the February issue of the European Journal of Cancer.

Related Articles


Explains Dr. Akervall, co-director, Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, and clinical director of Beaumont's BioBank, "Radiation therapy is a common treatment for people with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. However, it's not always well-tolerated. It can take two months, resulting in lots of side effects. Some of these complications are permanent. Before my patient goes down that path, I really want to know if their tumors are going to respond to radiation. That's where the patient's biomarkers can shed some light. If not, we can look at other treatment options -- saving time, possible risk for complications and expense."

A biomarker is a gene or a set of genes or its products, RNA and proteins, that researchers use to predict a key clinical issue such as diagnosis, prognosis, and response to treatment, choice of treatment or recurrence. Biomarker studies can provide a bridge between emerging molecular information and clinical treatment. Biomarkers may also lead to personalized treatment, in contrast to protocol-based medicine of today.

"Personalized treatment decisions based on biomarkers go beyond traditional cancer staging classifications. Individualized treatment plans could reduce morbidity and potentially improve survival by avoiding treatment failures," says Dr. Akervall. "There is reason to believe that a better understanding of the biological properties of these tumors, as measured in the patient's pre-treatment biopsies, may lead us to predict the response to radiation therapy and concurrent chemoradiation, thus allowing for tailored patient-specific treatment strategies."

The study followed two groups of patients. In the first group, researchers screened 18,000 genes and identified five distinct markers. The second group was larger and confirmed these findings and two of them in particular. Two markers were good at predicting whether or not radiation-based therapy would be effective.

Adds Dr. Akervall, "While our findings are encouraging, and a step toward personalized medicine, we hope to do more of this research with a larger, randomized trial."

According to the National Cancer Institute, most cancers of the head and neck usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist surfaces of the mouth, nose and throat. Three risk factors identified with squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck include -- tobacco and alcohol use, as well as infection with cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus or HPV.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Beaumont Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jan Akervall, Sirisha Nandalur, Jacob Zhang, Chao-Nan Qian, Neal Goldstein, Paulina Gyllerup, Ylva Gardinger, Jens Alm, Katarina Lorenc, Karolina Nilsson, James Resau, George Wilson, Bin Teh. A novel panel of biomarkers predicts radioresistance in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. European Journal of Cancer, 2014; 50 (3): 570 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2013.11.007

Cite This Page:

Beaumont Health System. "Biomarkers predict effectiveness of radiation treatments for cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327123713.htm>.
Beaumont Health System. (2014, March 27). Biomarkers predict effectiveness of radiation treatments for cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327123713.htm
Beaumont Health System. "Biomarkers predict effectiveness of radiation treatments for cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327123713.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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