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Connection Between Chemoresponse Assays And Improved Ovarian Cancer Survival Rates

This spring, a team of researchers has released results from an eight-year study that shows improved for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer who undergo cancer tumor testing to determine the best treatment.

Part of the team was , MD, director of the Center for Biomarkers and Emerging Technologies and a gynecologic oncologist with the Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.

“Essentially, we have demonstrated that by using a tissue sample from the patient’s tumor and a chemoresponse , we are able to determine which treatment may or may not work for her,” Dr. Moore explains of the study, which was presented at a recent meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and in the trade publication Cure.

“This study shows that a woman with could benefit from having a biopsy and chemosensitivity testing. The results from such testing will allow for the identification of chemotherapeutics that are active against the patient’s disease and those that are not resulting in decreased toxicity from ineffective treatments. Learning that personal directed therapies may improve overall survival for these patients made this the first study in two decades to show a significant increase in survival in .”

The study, launched in 2004, included 283 women. Of those, 262 had successful biopsies which were tested in vitro, or in a test tube. The assay ChemoFx®, by , tested up to 15 approved on the samples, identifying chemotherapy drugs and regimens to which each tumor might be sensitive. The study was non-interventional, meaning that physicians chose the without knowing of the assay results. The researchers then evaluated the assay’s result against actual patient outcomes.

“The assay identified at least one treatment to which the tumor would be sensitive in 52% of patients in the study,” Dr. Moore says. “Overall, median survival was 37.5 months for patients with treatment-sensitive tumors, compared to 23.9 months for intermediate and resistant tumors.”

Assay-directed therapy has long been debated among oncologists, he continues. Such debate provided the impetus for this study.

Source

Women & Infants Hospital