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Colorectal cancer (CRC) classification system that correlates cellular phenotype to clinical outcome

Computational analysis of drug-induced gene expression profiles in CRC provides a classification system that could be used to guide treatment decisions. Gene expression data from 1,290 CRC tumors were analyzed and mapped to a data set of clinical responses to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor Erbitux cetuximab in 80 patients. Six subgroups were identified that corresponded to different levels of disease-free survival. For each subgroup, gene expression and protein biomarkers were identified that could be used to propose subtype-specific therapeutic strategies. Next steps include refining the quantitative gene expression approach and further validating the CRC subtype-specific signatures using additional retrospective sample sets.
Eli Lilly and Co. and partners Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Merck KGaA market Erbitux to treat CRC and head and neck cancer.

SciBX 6(18); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.451
Published online May 9, 2013

Patent status undisclosed; available for licensing

Sadanandam, A. et al. Nat. Med.; published online April 14, 2013;
Contact: Douglas Hanahan, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics,
Lausanne, Switzerland
Contact: Joe W. Gray, Oregon
Health & Science University,
Portland, Oregon