News Column

Data on Cancer Gene Therapy Reported by Researchers at University of Munich

June 23, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Cancer Gene Therapy Week -- Current study results on Biotechnology have been published. According to news reporting originating from Munich, Germany, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "The advent of multiple molecular targets in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has brought new treatments, but also new logistic and technical considerations, to the clinician. The small size of endoscopic biopsies and the increasing number of relevant but uncommon markers has increased the need for rational approaches to molecular testing."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the University of Munich, "We present the results of clinical preselection before EML4-ALK testing in a German NSCLC cohort. Patients with stage IV NSCLC were included. Clinicians were encouraged to consider screening epidermal growth factor receptor wild-type adenocarcinoma patients with a limited smoking history, relatively young age, or who had benefited from chemotherapy for a relatively long period. Break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization using archived paraffin tissue was performed in a central facility. From April 2010 to September 2011 we included 61 patients: mean age 56.6 years, 41% women, 90% adenocarcinoma, 5% large-cell, and 5% squamous cell cancers. Only three patients had activating epidermal growth factor receptor mutations; 16.4% of patients were positive for EML4-ALK fusion. The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive patients included 60% women, tended to be younger, had smoked less, and had received significantly more systemic therapy, on average 3.7 lines of treatment over 3 years, before ALK-testing compared with the ALK-negative patients. Long periods of progression-free survival were experienced by ALK-positive patients treated with pemetrexed, vinorelbine, or cetuximab. EML4-ALK fusion is uncommon, reported in about 5% of NSCLC patients; however, clinical preselection increased the yield of testing to 16.4%."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "EML4-ALK positive patients seem to have distinct clinical features and show long responses to a number of systemic therapies."

For more information on this research see: Preselection Based on Clinical Characteristics in German Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients Screened for EML4-ALK Translocation. Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 2014;9(1):109-113. Journal of Thoracic Oncology can be contacted at: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 530 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3621, USA. (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins - www.lww.com; Journal of Thoracic Oncology - journals.lww.com/jto/pages/default.aspx)

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting A.L.H. Tufman, University of Munich, Dept. of Radiol, D-80336 Munich, Germany. Additional authors for this research include M. Edelmann, F. Gamarra, S. Reu, A. Borgmeier, K. Schrodl, R. Zauber, U. Muller-Lisse and R.M. Huber (see also Biotechnology).

Keywords for this news article include: Biotechnology, Munich, Europe, Germany, Genetics, Oncology, Lung Neoplasms, Cancer Gene Therapy, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Cancer Gene Therapy Week


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