Sep. 17, 2014

Winship Team Studies Lung Cancer Biomarkers

A paper published in PLOS One by Johann Brandes, MD, PhD, a Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University research scientist and medical oncologist, demonstrates that a chemical modification called methylation in the DNA of lung cancer cells can predict cases in which certain chemotherapy drug combinations will be effective.

Other Winship faculty involved in the study include Paula Vertino, PhD, Adam Marcus, PhD, Fadlo R. Khuri, MD and Jeanne Kowalski, PhD. First author on the paper is Postdoctoral Fellow Seth Brodie, PhD.

The study looked at patients with advanced lung cancer at Winship and at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center, and their response rate to the chemotherapy drug combination of carboplatin and taxol. Brandes and colleagues found that methylation in the DNA of the gene caveolin-1 can serve as a predictor for improved survival with this drug combination.

“A predictive test is desirable since it would allow patients who are unlikely to benefit from this treatment combination to be spared from side effects and to be selected for other, possibly more effective treatments,” Brandes says.

A more in-depth look at this study can be found on the Emory Health Sciences Research blog, Lab Land.

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