Currently Viewing:
Newsroom
Currently Reading
Lack of Payer Support a Barrier to Diabetes Prevention, CDC Reports
December 17, 2017 – Mary Caffrey
Pfizer Announces Phase 3 Trial for Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
December 15, 2017 – Samantha DiGrande
Average Profit Margin on Oncology Drugs For 340B Hospitals Nears 50%
December 15, 2017 – Jaime Rosenberg
Majority of Women With Breast Cancer Surgery Did Not Feel Fully Informed of Treatment Options
December 15, 2017 – Jaime Rosenberg
AJMC® in the Press, December 15, 2017
December 15, 2017 – AJMC Staff
What We're Reading: Medicare Lab Testing; CHIP Deadline; AMA Expands Diabetes Efforts
December 15, 2017 – AJMC Staff
5 Key Takeaways From ASH 2017
December 15, 2017 – Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
This Week in Managed Care: December 15, 2017
December 15, 2017
What We're Reading: Medical Device Tax; Marijuana and Vaping; Birth Control Without Prescriptions
December 14, 2017 – AJMC Staff

Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy Recommended First for Certain Prostate Cancers, Lymphomas

Laura Joszt
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy should be the first line of treatment for certain prostate cancers and lymphomas with a major genetic weakness, according to researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy should be the first line of treatment for certain prostate cancers and lymphomas with a major genetic weakness, according to researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Approximately 10% to 15% of prostate cancers and lymphomas may be particularly vulnerable to these treatments, and taking advantage of this genetic weakness could help save patient lives.

According to Anindya Dutta, MD, PhD, chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the School of Medicine, many cancers are not treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy at the outset. Instead, someone with prostate cancer gets surgery or androgen deprivation first.

“But suppose you find the patient’s cancer belongs to this 10% group…those patients should really be treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy right at the outset, because those cancer cells will be much more susceptible, while the normal cells around the cancer won’t be hurt at the doses needed,” Dutta said in a statement.

Dutta’s team discovered that a gene that plays an important role in repairing damaged DNA had a second, different gene overlapping it. The researchers found that when 1 gene is deleted, the other gene is absent as well, which leaves cells highly susceptible to treatments that damage the DNA inside cancer cells.

When these patients are treated with radiation and chemotherapy, the resulting DNA breaks in the cancecr cells are difficult to fix, therefore, causing the cancer cells to die.

“And now we discover that certain cancer cells—these 10% of prostate cancer and lymphomas—have this natural genetic vulnerability,” Dutta said. “They have lost the genes important for stitching the DNA back together, so they’re extremely susceptible to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.”

Using these findings, a blood test can be developed that determined which patients would benefit from being treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Decreasing the activity of repair genes while treating a patient with radiotherapy or chemotherapy will make the cancer more susceptible to treatment, Dutta added.

“The biochemical pathway we’ve unraveled for [one of the genes] gives us hope that we should be able to find small chemicals that could interrupt this activity,” he said.

 
Copyright AJMC 2006-2017 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
x
Welcome the the new and improved AJMC.com, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!