Genetic Guidance for Pemetrexed-Based NSCLC Therapy

Genetic Guidance for Pemetrexed-Based NSCLC Therapy

Pemetrexed (Alimta) is a triple threat in advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), given its use as first-line, second-line, and maintenance therapy. But patients taking this multitarget antifolate still experience disease progression and Cleveland-based cancer specialists think they know why. They suggest that uracil–DNA glycosylase (UNG), a gene repair enzyme, serves as a “critical mediator” of pemetrexed sensitivity.

RESULT:  Uracil–DNA glycosylase expression determines human lung cancer cell sensitivity to pemetrexed
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Oct 07, 2013 (FREE FULL TEXT)

Low thymidylate synthase (TYMS) gene expression has been linked to better response and survival for NSCLC patients undergoing pemetrexed-based regimens. Chinese researchers sought to confirm that association with a meta-analysis of TYMS expression and clinical outcomes. While many of the studies they analyzed were retrospective, they concluded that low or even negative TYMS expression pointed to better survival outcomes in advanced NSCLC patients. 

RESULT:  Association between TYMS expression and efficacy of pemetrexed–based chemotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: A meta-analysis
PLOS One | Sep 10, 2013 (FREE FULL TEXT)

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