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IntegraGen Collaborating with New EPOC Study Investigators to Validate Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Biomarker

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IntegraGen, a leading player in the development and marketing of molecular diagnostic testing in oncology and autism, recently announced a collaboration with investigators from the New EPOC study to validate the oncology biomarker hsa-miR-31-3p, a microRNA whose expression has been shown to be a predictor of progression free survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with anti-EGFR therapy.

“It’s vitally important that we can select the right treatments for cancer patients giving them the best chance of surviving the disease and sparing them unnecessary treatments. We hope that this research will lead to a test that will predict which colorectal cancer patients will respond to anti-EGFR treatments.”

The New EPOC study is a randomized clinical trial of chemotherapy alone compared to chemotherapy in combination with cetuximab, an anti-EGFR antibody, in 272 KRAS wild-type patients with operable metastases from colorectal cancer. Initial results from the New EPOC study were reported at the 2013 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology held in Chicago, Illinois (link to abstract). The present collaboration will explore the expression levels of hsa-miR-31-3p in both primary and metastatic tumors and determine the ability of the biomarker to predict patient outcomes. A previously conducted study (link) has reported that hsa-mir-31-3p expression in primary tumor samples was associated with anti-EGFR response in KRAS wild-type patients with mCRC receiving EGFR inhibitor therapy.

“This collaboration will allow us to develop further evidence that the miR-31-3p biomarker predicts response to anti-EGFR therapy in wild-type KRAS patients with metastatic colorectal cancer,” stated Francois Liebaert, M.D., IntegraGen’s Vice-President of R&D and Medical Affairs. “We are enthused by the opportunity to work with the investigators from the New EPOC study and the ability to obtain data on miR-31-3p expression levels in both primary and metastatic tumors from this large patient cohort.”

“This collaboration with IntegraGen will permit us to conduct further translational research which will help us to explain the results we have seen in the New EPOC Study,” commented Dr. John Primrose, Professor of Surgery at the University of Southampton and Chief Investigator for the New EPOC Study. “Our objective with this research is to further explore factors which may help to predict differences in response rates in study patients treated or not treated with cetuximab.”

The New EPOC Study is funded by Cancer Research UK (clinical trial number CRUK/06/031). Kate Law, Director of Clinical Research at Cancer Research UK, stated “It’s vitally important that we can select the right treatments for cancer patients giving them the best chance of surviving the disease and sparing them unnecessary treatments. We hope that this research will lead to a test that will predict which colorectal cancer patients will respond to anti-EGFR treatments.” CRUK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.

Source: Business Wire