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Prognostic and predictive blood based biomarkers for cancer

Value Proposition

Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest types of cancer, with only 8.2% of patients surviving 5 years after diagnosis. Most patients with pancreatic cancer are treated with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine, which blocks DNA synthesis. However, given the poor response and high mortality, there is great interest in combination therapy targeting additional mechanisms of tumor growth. One such mechanism is angiogenesis, for which a number of drugs have been developed including the monoclonal antibody bevacizumab (Avastin), which has been approved for several other cancers. A recent trial of gemcitabine + bevacizumab showed no obvious benefit of bevacizumab – this poor efficacy was hypothesized to be due to resistance mechanisms affecting other aspects of the angiogenesis pathway. Since the frequency of bevacizumab-responsive patients is low in the pancreatic cancer population, it is important to identify patients likely to respond to treatment in order to minimize exposure to side-effects of anti-angiogenic therapy while allowing non-responders to receive alternative treatments which may be more effective. This technology comprises a method for blood-based measurement of a panel of angiogenesis markers to accurately predict which pancreatic cancer patients are likely or not-likely to respond to treatment with bevacizumab in addition to gemcitabine, thereby providing for personalized selection of novel treatments for pancreatic cancer therapy.

Technology

  • This invention incorporates a technology for multiplexed measurement of biomarkers in pancreatic cancer patient blood samples which, taken together using a novel statistical method, predict for response to bevacizumab treatment.
  • Additionally, several of these markers were shown to be of prognostic value for determining overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) regardless of bevacizumab treatment.
  • These biomarkers have been validated in a large Phase III trail of bevacizumab + gemcitabine, and represent the first method for prediction of patient responsiveness to therapy on this scale.

Other applications

This technology may also be useful for the prediction of patient responsiveness to other types of anti-angiogenic therapy.

Advantages

Currently, it is not possible to predict whether patients with pancreatic cancer will respond to bevacizumab. Clinical trials in the overall patient population do not show efficacy, likely due to multiple resistance mechanisms. This technology is able to discern a minority population likely to respond to therapy, thereby enabling a personalized-medicine approach to the treatment of pancreatic cancer with bevacizumab.

Duke File (IDF) Number

T-003665

Inventor(s)

  • Nixon, Andrew
  • Hurwitz, Herbert
  • Pang, Herbert
  • Starr, Mark

Patents

    • Patent Number: 9,255,927
    • Title: METHODS OF DEVELOPING A PROGNOSIS FOR PANCREATIC CANCER AND PREDICTING RESPONSIVENESS TO CANCER THERAPEUTICS
    • Country: United States of America
    • Patent Number: 9,869,677
    • Title: METHODS OF DEVELOPING A PROGNOSIS FOR PANCREATIC CANCER AND PREDICTING RESPONSIVENESS TO CANCER THERAPEUTICS
    • Country: United States of America
    • Patent Number: 2704745
    • Title: METHODS OF DEVELOPING A PROGNOSIS FOR PANCREATIC CANCER AND PREDICTING RESPONSIVENESS TO CANCER THERAPEUTICS
    • Country: Europe

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College

School of Medicine (SOM)

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