Local Cancer Research May Have Worldwide Impact

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013

claudio at microscopeMarshall University biomedical sciences researcher Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio recently presented a new technology called ChemoID to colleagues at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He developed the system, which measures the sensitivity of patients' tumors to chemotherapy drugs, with MU biology professor Dr. Jagan Valluri.

“Oncologists face many challenges in determining the best course of therapy for an individual cancer patient,” says Claudio. “The basic problem is that patients with similar diagnoses don’t always respond to the same chemotherapy. This technology we have developed could help physicians select the appropriate chemotherapy for an individual patient—giving them an edge in the fight against cancer.”

He says ChemoID is the first chemosensitivity test for both cancer stem-like cells and bulk tumor cells. While more evaluation is needed, a clinical trial on a small number of patients found ChemoID to be 100 percent accurate in predicting which drug is more effective in treating patients affected by brain cancer if the cancer stem-like cells are evaluated. ChemoID may make personalized treatment possible by predicting the most effective drug combination to successfully target each specific patient’s cancer—increasing the chance the drugs will work and perhaps reducing side effects by helping the patient avoid unnecessary drugs.

Claudio acknowledged the contributions of Dr. Anthony Alberico, chairman of the Department of Neuroscience at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, for providing the clinical samples, as well as his co-investigators at the school of medicine, McKown Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center.