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Inflammatory Genes and MicroRNA-21 as Biomarkers for Colon Cancer Prognosis

Posted Jun 22 2009 5:00pm

Description of Invention:
Colon adenocarcinoma is the leading cause of cancer mortality world-wide and accounts for approximately 50,000 deaths annually in the United States. Adjuvant therapies improve survival for stage III colon cancer patients; however, it remains controversial if stage II patients should be given these therapies. Some stage II patients will benefit from therapy (such as patients with undetectable micro-metastases where surgery will not be curative); but therapy for others will harm quality of life with little therapeutic benefit (such as patients where surgery removed all cancerous tissue and therefore do not need additional therapy). Thus, there is a need to for biomarkers capable of accurately identifying high risk, stage II patients that are suitable for therapeutic intervention.

The investigators have identified an inflammatory gene and microRNA biomarker portfolio that can predict aggressive colon cancer, colon cancer patient survival, and patients that are candidates for adjuvant therapy. These biomarkers provide clinicians with a powerful tool to diagnose colon cancer patients and chose effective treatment methods.

  • Method to predict aggressive form of colon cancer, especially in stage II cancer patients
  • Method to determine appropriate colon cancer patients for adjuvant therapy
  • Diagnostic arrays

  • Rapid, easy to use arrays to accurately predict colon cancer and patients suitable for adjuvant therapy
  • Method to stratify colon cancer patients for adjuvant therapy to minimize negative side effects
  • Method to identify stage II patients that are likely to have undetectable micro-metastases

Development Status:
The technology is currently in the pre-clinical stage of development.

Curtis C Harris (NCI)
Aaron J Schetter (NCI)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-314-2008/0
PCT, Application No. PCT/US09/058425 filed 25 Sep 2009

Relevant Publication:
  1. AJ Schetter et al. MicroRNA expression profiles associated with prognosis and therapeutic outcome in colon adenocarcinoma. JAMA. 2008 Jan 30;299(4):425-436. [ PubMed abs ]

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The NCI Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Please contact for more information.

Cancer - Diagnostics
Cancer - Other

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Jennifer Wong
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-4633
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 1975

Updated: 06/2009

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