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Genes might predict bowel cancer prognosis

MONTPELLIER, France, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- French medical scientists say they've identified patterns of gene expression that can predict response to treatment of advanced metastatic colorectal cancer.

Dr. Maguy Del Rio, a scientist at the Montpellier, France, Cancer Research Institute, said she and her team have identified an 11-gene signature that could be used to identify those patients who would respond to a most commonly used chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer.

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"Gene expression signatures are a new class of molecular diagnostic tests for cancer," said Del Rio. "For cancer prognosis, three tests are commercially available, all for breast cancer. It is more difficult to predict responses to anti-cancer drugs than it is to predict prognosis. Few studies have been made in this field. This and our previous study are the first that demonstrate the utility of gene expression profiling for the prediction of response in colorectal patients."

She presented her findings last week in Geneva, Switzerland, during a symposium organized by the joint European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the American Association for Cancer Research.

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