Spanish researchers identify biomarker predicting response to Tarceva therapy
Lugano/Barcelona – Spanish researchers have presented a novel biomarker able to identify responders to Roche’s EGFR blocker erlotinib (Tarceva), at European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology (EMCTO, 24-26 February, Lugano). Analysing gene expression levels in 43 NSCLC patients (non-small cell lung cancer) with a defective gene for the EGFR receptor, who received erlotinib therapy, the team under Professor Rafael Rosell from Spanish Lung Cancer Group (SLCG) and cancer biomarker specialist Pangaea Biotech in Barcelona found that the expression level of the AEG-1 was predictive for progression-free survival. Progression-free survival was 27 months for those with low AEG-1 (astrocye elevated gene 1, metadherin) expression, compared to 12 months for those with high expression. For those patients in the high-risk group, the result can alert the clinical oncologist to be ready for early progression and look for alternative management strategy, Dr Rosell said.