Date Published: 13 August 2010

DNA repair genes help predict impact of chemo for melanoma

Cancer Research UK

A link between the level of active DNA repair genes in melanoma tumours and the effectiveness of chemotherapy for skin cancer patients has been established for the first time by a team of scientists.

The study, part-funded by Cancer Research UK and recently published in the journal "Clinical Cancer Research", found that higher levels of DNA repair genes in melanoma tumours were associated with a poorer response to chemotherapy.

It is the first time that genes involved in DNA repair have been identified as a possible predictive marker for a patient’s response to chemotherapy for melanoma.

The study looked at 502 cancer-related genes in the tumours of 472 patients – making it the largest piece of research to look at genes in melanoma.

The results could potentially help doctors decide the most effective treatment earlier on for a melanoma patient, increasing their chance of survival.

Professor Julia Newton-Bishop, lead author of the study who is based in the Cancer Research UK Centre at the University of Leeds, said:

This paper identifies so-called biomarkers - changes within the tumours themselves which predict how patients will respond to treatment.

Our study found that the increased expression of DNA repair genes in melanomas predict poorer outcome overall and provide preliminary evidence that those patients whose tumours have lower levels of the genes may respond better to standard chemotherapy for melanoma.

The research supports the theory that high levels of DNA repair genes in melanoma tumours constantly repair the damaging effects of chemotherapy to the DNA leading to further multiplication of cells.

This meant the treatment was inefficient at killing cancer cells and stopping tumour growth.

Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK, said:

Chemotherapy can be an unpleasant experience for some patients. This study shows that a genetic marker could help doctors assess whether a melanoma tumour will be resistant to chemotherapy and ensure that a patient receives a treatment that will be the most effective for them.

The results showing the genetic link in melanoma tumours to chemotherapy were from a small sample. Scientists now need to test this finding with a larger number of melanoma tumours to see whether this genetic marker can actually be used by doctors to help treat patients.”


Source: Cancer Research UK.

Also in the News:

CRT and ValiRx sign licensing deal to develop prostate cancer treatment - 12 Aug '10

International Year of Youth launched today - 12 Aug '10

NIH study indicates stress may delay women getting pregnant - 11 Aug '10

Breath test could help to detect cancer - 11 Aug '10

Antibiotic resistant gene discovered - 11 Aug '10

Women's cholesterol levels vary with phase of menstrual cycle - 10 Aug '10

Irish Cancer Society concerned at growth in colonoscopy waiting lists - 10 Aug '10

Stroke survivors could benefit from listening to regular beat - 10 Aug '10

Prayer is reconnection to the infinite divine love and intelligence whom some call God.

Although care has been taken when compiling this page, the information contained might not be completely up to date. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This material is copyright. See terms of use.

IvyRose Holistic 2003-2022.