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New Test Could Help Doctors Determine if Chemotherapy Will Benefit Colon Cancer Patients

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Disability Help Group

While chemotherapy is one of the most common and effective cancer treatments available, it is not always the best option. Doctors routinely prescribe chemotherapy for post-surgery colon cancer patients in order to prevent relapse. However, many patients find no additional help from chemotherapy and often face unnecessary discomfort and increased risk of disability. A team of researchers from multiple medical centers has recently published the results of its study on genetic biomarkers of colon cancer in the New England Journal of Medicine. Current cancer research regarding biomarkers typically looks at gene expression in tumor cells, but in order to determine a cancer’s risk of regrowth, the team looked at gene expression in cancer stem cells. Researchers studied data from over 2,000 colon cancer patients and revealed 16 genes that, when lacking expression, were tied to high levels of cancer stem cell biomarkers. Using standardized testing methods currently available, the team further researched one gene: CDX2. Researchers found that patients whose tumors did not express the gene were more likely to benefit from chemotherapy following surgery than those whose tumors did express the gene. Using this knowledge could prompt for developing expression tests for the other 15 genes found in the study. It could also potentially lead to a better assessment of whether or not doctors should administer chemotherapy to post-surgery colon cancer patients.

An Estimated 1 in 20 Americans Will Develop Colorectal Cancer in their Lifetime

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in the world, following lung cancer. This cancer is often fast progressing and can spread easily, often resulting in further complications and more disabling treatment needs. If you or a loved one are disabled due to cancer, Disability Help Group can help with your disability claim, just contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!