Researchers recommend EpCAM testing in cancer patients prior to targeted therapy


Innsbruck/Meran – Until now, there has been no consensus on how and when to evaluate EpCAM expression in patients with cancer. Austrian and Italian oncologists have now presented the first systematic investigation on occurrence of over expression of the epithelial cancer drug target in several tumour entities (J Clin Pathol. 2011 May;64(5):415-20). For assessing EpCAM over expression, Gilbert Spizzo from university hospital Meran and his colleagues from Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute (Innsbruck) stained samples from 2291 primary tumour tissues and 108 metastases with an the EpCAM-specific antibody and defined intense immunohistochemical staining as EpCAM overexpression. EpCAM was highly expressed in most tumours of gastrointestinal origin and in some carcinomas of the genitourinary tract. However, hepatocellular carcinomas, clear cell renal cell cancer, urothelial cancer and squamous cell cancers were frequently EpCAM negative. EpCAM expression in breast cancer depended on the histological subtype; lobular histology usually showed no or weak expression. Most metastases were EpCAM positive and they frequently reflected the expression phenotype of the primary tumour. The authors recommend the evaluation of immunohistochemical evaluation of EpCAM expression prior to therapy, particularly in patients with renal cell cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, urothelial carcinoma, breast cancer and squamous cell carcinomas. The recommendation would affect marketed antibody drugs such as Catumaxomab and mAbs under development such as Adecatumumab.



Milan – Everyone agrees that Italy is not Greece, but it is common wisdom that the country could also be doing better. Considering the meagre growth of the Italian economy in the last decade however, data fom the 2011 survey of...



Milan – Italian drugmaker Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. and Merck Serono have broadened the scope of their 5-year-old collaboration on CNS drugs. In addition to the Parkinson’s treatment safinamide, under the terms of a new...



Milan/Berlin – Swiss-Italian biotech Philogen SpA has revoked its plan to sell a 23% stake worth EUR65.3m and go public on the Milan stock exchange this Friday. The move came after German Bayer HealthCare unexpectedly terminated...



Rome – The EUR2.5m ERC Advanced Grants are the Grammies of European science – not in the same league as a Nobel Prize, but still a lucrative honor. In the fourth round since 2007, the European Research Council awarded some a590m...



Modena/London – Researchers from Germany, Italy and the UK have identified a molecule that is key to the onset of addiction and also involved into memory formation (EMBO Journal, doi:10.1038/emboj.2010.279). According to results...



Genoa/Philadelphia — The inexpensive anti-gout drug allopurinol can counteract colorectal adenoma progression, according to data presented yesterday at the 9th Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference...

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