Immuno-oncology Study Shows Genes May Predict Treatment Results for Colorectal Cancer

Immuno-oncology Study Shows Genes May Predict Treatment Results for Colorectal Cancer

During the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2016 Annual Meeting, a study revealed that immune-related genes could predict outcomes of cetuximab treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer.

The study, “Immune-related genes to predict clinical outcome of cetuximab (cet) treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC): Immuno-Oncology assay research,” was presented by Dr. Yu Sunakawa of the Showa University Northern Yokohama Hospital and Dr. Heinz-Josef Lenz of the University of Southern California, in collaboration with HTG Molecular Diagnostics and Cancer Genetics (CGI).

The collaboration was intended to identify immune-related genes in order to predict the clinical outcome of cetuximab treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The success of antitumor activity of cetuximab is based on antibody-dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity mediated by natural killer cells.

“We are excited to collaborate with HTG and CGI and get great findings from this important study as it demonstrated that immune-related genes may identify subtypes associated with clinical outcome of 1st-line cetuximab treatment for mCRC,” Sunakawa said in a press release

Using HTG’s EdgeSeq Oncology Biomarker Panel on the HTG EdgeSeq system at CGI, the study investigated the expression levels of immune-related genes implicated in the host’s immune response to tumors. The HTG EdgeSeq Oncology Biomarker Panel comprises 2,560 gene probes using next-generation sequencing for quantitative analysis of targeted RNA.

Total RNA, isolated from 77 KRAS wild-type patients enrolled in two Phase 2 trials of first-line therapy with FOLFOX or SOX (chemotherapy regimens) plus cetuximab, was analyzed.

In terms of progression-free survival (PFS), clustering using the RIPK1 and CEACAM5 genes allowed the division of participants into two groups. For overall survival (OS), patients were divided in two groups based on the clustering using 7 genes, with OS strongly associated with the IRF3 and BMP4 genes.

Study authors determined: “Our study demonstrates that immune-related genes may identify subtypes associated with clinical outcome of first-line cet treatment for mCRC. Further studies to validate the findings are warranted.”

TJ Johnson, President and CEO of HTG called the study an “excellent demonstration of the application of NGS-based gene expression in the rapidly developing field of immuno-oncology research.”

Panna Sharma, president and CEO of CGI concluded: “We are excited that CGI’s immuno-oncology capabilities are able to address the demands of robust research studies that enable personalized medicine by identifying biomarkers to help select cancer patients most likely to benefit from specific therapies.”

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