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Biomarkers are based on chromosomal rearrangements specific to each cancer patient

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Friday, February 26, 2010 (Last Updated: 03/01/2010)

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Personalized tumor-specific biomarkers based on the chromosomal rearrangements present in an individual patient can be detected with high sensitivity in blood and used to monitor the efficacy of treatment in cancer patients, according to a study in the Feb. 24 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Rebecca J. Leary, of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, and colleagues developed a method -- personalized analysis of rearranged ends -- to identify tumor-specific chromosomal rearrangements in four colorectal and two breast cancers by massively parallel sequencing.

The researchers identified four to 15 rearranged sequences per tumor, each of which were unique. Using the polymerase chain reaction, the rearrangements could be specifically detected in the presence of large amounts of normal DNA and in plasma, and could be measured quantitatively to monitor the efficacy of treatment. In a patient with colorectal cancer, the proportion of rearranged DNA decreased from 37 to 14 percent after surgery, decreasing further after chemotherapy and right hepatectomy, and remaining at 0.3 percent due to residual metastatic lesions in the remaining left lobe of the liver.

"This approach provides an exquisitely sensitive and broadly applicable approach for the development of personalized biomarkers to enhance the clinical management of cancer patients," Leary and colleagues conclude.

Several authors are employees of Life Technologies.

Abstract
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Specialties Oncology
OBGYN & Women's Health
Surgery

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