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Rosetta Genomics and M D Anderson collobarate to develop a MicroRNA-based diagnostic test

Rosetta Genomics : 09 June, 2008  (Company News)
Rosetta Genomics is to collaborate on research with The University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center and the Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers to develop a microRNA- based diagnostic test to predict risk of disease recurrence in lung cancer patients who have undergone curative resection.
Current treatment for lung cancer includes surgical resection which may be followed by adjuvant therapy. While patients with high risk of recurrence may benefit from adjuvant therapy, those with low risk of recurrence may be exposed to unnecessary toxicities. The goal of this collaboration is to develop a test that will enable physicians to distinguish between patients with high and low risk of recurrence to optimise treatment regimens.

'The potential diagnostic applications of microRNA biomarkers are broad and diverse,' noted Amir Avniel, president and chief executive officer of Rosetta Genomics. 'We are very pleased to be collaborating with M D Anderson, one of the world's leading cancer research centres, on this important project in lung cancer. We believe that the experience we have in working with microRNA biomarkers, combined with M D Anderson's extensive experience in lung cancer research, makes this a strong collaboration which may have a significant impact on the way lung cancer patients are diagnosed and treated.'

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women worldwide and in the USA. In 2008 alone, there will be about 215,020 new cases of lung cancer in the USA, and approximately 160,000 people will die of the disease.

'We are quickly learning about the benefits of better diagnostics in optimising treatment administration,' said Ignacio I Wistuba, MD, associate professor, Department of Pathology at M D Anderson Cancer Center. 'Currently, the lack of sensitive diagnostic tools means lung cancer patients, who have undergone a resection, may be administered aggressive chemotherapy despite the fact that they are at low risk of the cancer recurring. By leveraging microRNAs' unique sensitivity as biomarkers, we have an opportunity to develop a novel test that will assist clinicians and patients to better manage this type of cancer.'

'The use of miRNA with existing genomic and proteomic information will help us achieve the goal of personalisation of the treatment,' said Gordon Mills, co-director of the Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers, at M D Anderson Cancer Center.

'This is one of the many collaborations with industry leaders that the Kleberg Center is building to bring novel technologies to achieve our mission of affecting treatment changes,' said Rahul Mitra, associate director of the Kleberg Center.
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