New Research May Help Doctors Predict A Patient's Response to Chemo

by: cancercompass

UCLA scientists have discovered an approach that could predict how a patient will respond to chemotherapy prior to undergoing the therapy.

Their research, published this month in an advanced online edition of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used a non-invasive scan after injecting a probe into mice that developed leukemia and lymphoma tumors. The scan, known as positron emission tomography (PET), acts like a "molecular camera" that allows researchers to see how the tumor will react to treatment, said Caius Radu, one of the authors of the study, in a ScienceDaily press release.

In that same ScienceDaily press release, first author Rachel Laing, A UCLA graduate researcher in molecular and medical pharmacology, explained that "The PET scan offers a preview for how the tumor will react to a specific therapy. We believe that the tumor cells that absorb the probe will also take up the drug. If the cells do not absorb the probe, it suggests that the tumor might respond better to another medication."

Researchers say their next step is to expand the scope of their research by trying to determine whether the probe can predict cellular response to several other widely used chemo drugs. They say this could help them better understand whether a diagnostic test of this sort provides clinical value.