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Genetic test could help tailor colorectal cancer therapy

January 15, 2014

New research led by Dr. Derek Jonker could help improve a genetic test to predict which colorectal cancer patients are likely to benefit from a targeted therapy called cetuximab. Previous research by Dr. Jonker showed that a gene called K-RAS could partially predict cetuximab benefit, and testing for this gene is now standard in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Jonkerís new research, published in the British Journal of Cancer, shows that adding another gene called Epiregulin may be able to further improve the test. Further research is needed, however, this work represents an important step in the development of personalized medicine for cancer.

Funders: Canadian Cancer Society (NCIC Clinical Trials Group), ImClone Systems, Bristol-Meyers Squibb

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The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the universityís Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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