Scientists Discover Gene Variant that Could Help Predict Chemo Outcomes

Scientists Discover Gene Variant that Could Help Predict Chemo Outcomes
Researchers have discovered new gene variants that affect how ovarian cancer patients respond to standard chemotherapy treatments Paraplatin (carboplatin) and Taxol (paclitaxel). The variants influence how a patient processes chemotherapy medications. For example, those who process medications faster are less likely to respond positively to treatment. Therefore, the variants could work as biomarkers of therapy response to help personalize individual treatment for ovarian cancer. The study, “Genome-wide association study of paclitaxel and carboplatin disposition in women with epithelial ovarian cancer,” was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Epithelial ovarian cancer, the most common type of ovarian cancer, is generally treated by surgical removal of any visible tumor (called cytoreductive surgery) and Paraplatin/Taxol chemotherapy. But how a patient responds to chemotherapy varies considerably. The effects of any medication are influenced by how it is absorbed, metabolized, and excreted. If a patient metabolizes a drug too fast, it could have little effect. But metabolizing it at a slower pace might lead to side effects. Therefore, the genes involved in processing a treatment might influence how a patient responds. Identifying small variations in these genes, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), could help to optimize treatment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are a relatively new way for scientists to identify genes involved in human disease. The approach looks for SNPs in the genome — the genetic material of an organism — that occur more frequently in
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