Genetic variations in the inflammation pathway may predict who would respond to Bacillus-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) treatment and who might experience a recurrence among patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting 2009.
“Our goal is to use genetic information like this to create a genetic blueprint for this disease, which currently recurs in about 70 percent of patients despite initial successful therapy,” said Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and a professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where the research was conducted.
Hushan Yang, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at M. D. Anderson and the first author of this study, and colleagues evaluated a panel of 59 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 35 major inflammation genes in all participants that had been treated with BCG therapy, the current treatment standard for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
If a patient had a genotype containing the variant allele of the iNOS gene, there was a significant reduction in the risk of recurrence compared with those patients who did not have this variance.
“Survival associated with this variance was 96.7 months compared with 47.0 months among patients with the wild-type gene,” Yang said.
In a further analysis, Yang and colleagues calculated a variance combination to identify those patients at high risk for recurrence. The overall median recurrence-free survival time in this group was only 13.5 months compared with more than 96.7 months, or indefinitely, in the low-risk group.
“These genes can be measured through simple blood tests,” said Wu. “Once we identify the patients at high risk for recurrence we can adjust their therapy and followup accordingly.”
The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and nearly 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.
Contact: Jeremy Moore
American Association for Cancer Research