Early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is usually treated with surgical removal of the tumor. However, in up to 50% of patients, the cancer will return within 5 years. A study of genetic variations that affect the function of microRNAs (small molecules involved in gene expression) found that several of them, including variations in the FAS, FZD4, SP1, and DROSHA genes, were associated with higher or lower probabilities of cancer recurrence and survival. Tests for such microRNA-related genetic variations may eventually help identify high-risk, early-stage NSCLC patients who would benefit from additional treatment after surgery.
CollabRx has released a new version of its Therapy Finder™ application for lung cancer, an online tool that recommends targeted therapies and clinical trials to physicians based on genetic information about a patient’s tumor. Available at: http://therapy.collabrx.com/lung/, the updated application incorporates information about mutations in the ROS1 gene, which can make patients eligible for treatment with a class of drugs called ALK inhibitors, including crizotinib (Xalkori). The new tool also includes updated information about selumetinib, an investigational drug that may benefit patients whose tumors carry a mutation in the KRAS gene.
A study of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) given chemotherapy with carboplatin (Paraplatin) and paclitaxel (Taxol or Abraxane) found that patients with lower levels of the protein CHFR were more likely to respond to the treatment and survived longer than patients with high CHFR levels. These findings suggest that CHFR levels could be a useful biomarker for indicating patients likely to respond to so-called taxane chemotherapy drugs like Taxol, Abraxane, or docetaxel (Taxotere). In the future, treatments that target CHFR may be developed to increase responsiveness to taxane chemotherapy in patients with high CHFR levels.