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 April 18, 2015 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 April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) At least 1 in 5,000 U.S. babies are born each year with intersex conditions _ ambiguous genitals because of genetic glitches or hormone problems. Secrecy and surgery are common. But some doctors and activists are trying to change things. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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