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Moffitt Cancer Center: Growing interest in prognostic test for non-small cell lung cancer

Tampa, FL (April 23, 2010) Moffitt Cancer Center announces steadily growing interest in the ERCC1 Analysis, the first test developed for selecting chemotherapy for Non Small Lung Cancer patients. Each year, more than 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer.

The ERCC1 Analysis measures ERCC1 levels in cells to predict response to cisplatin-based chemotherapy. The correlation between ERCC1 levels and therapy response was discovered at Moffitt Cancer Center and exclusively licensed to Genzyme Corporation in November of 2007. Genzyme Genetics, a business unit of Genzyme Corporation, officially launched the ERCC1 Analysis on May 1, 2009.

Several studies1-6 have shown that evaluating the expression levels of excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) may help physicians identify patients that may benefit from platinum-based chemotherapy - currently considered the standard of care in advanced NSCLC. Specifically, low expression levels of ERCC1 have been related to a better response and survival benefit from adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

"We are very pleased that many medical oncologists have begun utilizing this lung cancer test to better identify chemotherapy for non small cell lung cancer patients," said Jarett Rieger, Director of the Office of Technology Management and Licensing at Moffitt. "This test is an example of personalized medicine emanating from Moffitt Cancer Center, and as a result of our licensing partnership with Genyzme this test can now benefit lung cancer patients."

"The ERCC1 test complements our growing menu of personalized tests that predict response to treatment in NSCLC, said Celeste Chenet-Monte, Director Marketing, Oncology at Genzyme Genetics. "Other tests on our menu include EGFR and KRAS mutation analysis, ALK gene rearrangements and EGFR amplification, all of which can be used for prediction of response to targeted therapies used to treat patients with advanced NSCLC."

According to a 5-year retrospective study (n= 389) published in the New England Journal of Medicine, overall survival was significantly longer for patients with ERCC1-negative tumors who had received adjuvant cisplatin chemotherapy when compared to the control group treated by surgery alone (56 months vs 42 months, respectively). Among patients with ERCC1-positive tumors, there was no significant difference in survival between the adjuvant chemotherapy group and the control group (50 months vs 55 months respectively).


Contact: Michelle Foley
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

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