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Genetic Variants Predict Survival in Pancreatic Cancer

Increasing number of mismatch repair gene polymorphisms linked to increased mortality

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with resectable pancreatic cancer, mismatch repair gene polymorphisms may be significantly associated with clinical outcomes, according to a report published online Feb. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Xiaoqun Dong, M.D., of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues studied 15 single-nucleotide polymorphisms of eight mismatch repair genes in 154 patients who were enrolled in phase II clinical trials for preoperative gemcitabine-based chemoradiotherapy from 1999 to 2006.

The researchers found that five genotypes were significantly associated with tumor response to preoperative therapy, and that six and 10 genotypes were significantly associated with tumor resectability and overall survival, respectively. They also observed a significant combined effect on median survival times. Patients with no or one adverse genotype were still alive at the study's conclusion while survival times ranged from 36.2 months for patients with two adverse genotypes to 8.3 months in patients with seven adverse genotypes, the report indicates.

"Our observations need to be confirmed in separate patient populations," the authors conclude. "If confirmed, these findings may provide opportunities for discovery of novel markers that can help in choosing therapy for pancreatic cancer and in predicting a patient's tolerance and response to treatment, tumor resectability, and overall clinical outcome."

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