USC to present promising new findings in cancer research at 2010 ASCO

February 24, 2016

A study led by researchers at USC Norris have identified specific genes in the Insulin-like growth factor pathway (IGF) that predict the efficacy of epidermal growth-factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor drugs for colon cancer patients (Abstract #3562).

Researchers analyzed tissue samples from 130 patients with K-ras mutation status who were enrolled in a phase II clinical trial of cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody that targets the EGFR, to determine whether variations in the IGF1 and IGF1R genes are associated with clinical outcome. The investigators were able to predict the response rate of half the patients to the drug.

The data suggests that researchers can predict the response of 50 percent of patients, whereas the normal response rate is only 10 percent, said Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, and the principal investigator of the study.

"This data is very promising and shows for the first time that germline variations in genes involved in the IGF pathway may also play an important role in predicting efficacy of EGFR inhibitors we use for patients with colon cancer," Lenz said. "These may not be the only markers for prediction of response, but also are targets for novel drugs being developed to inhibit the IGF pathway."

These genotypes may be useful for selecting patients for combined IGF1R and EGFR treatment, said Thomas Winder, M.D., research fellow in the Sharon A. Carpenter Laboratory at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and the lead author of the study.

"Future prospective biomarker embedded clinical trials are needed to validate our findings and to implement them rapidly into routine clinical practice," Winder said.

The abstract will be presented in a general poster session from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, June 6th.

SOURCE University of Southern California