NEW HAVEN, Conn., Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mira Dx® today notes the publication of breakthrough research showing that the KRAS-variant acts as a biomarker of poor survival and worse response to treatment for patients with ovarian cancer(1). Ovarian cancer patients with the KRAS-variant are twice as likely to die of their ovarian cancer, and three times more resistant to standard platinum chemotherapy compared to ovarian cancer patients who do not carry the variant. The KRAS-variant is found in up to 25% of newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients. Studies are being actively pursued to identify which chemotherapeutic agents work best for these patients.
The KRAS-variant is a germ-line mutated version of the KRAS oncogene, which plays a fundamental role in cancer biology in numerous cancer types. The variant was previously shown to predict an increased risk of developing several cancers, and most strongly ovarian cancer for women from families with histories of breast and ovarian cancers. The variant has also been associated with poor outcome in several cancer types and altered response to therapy in studies looking at Cetuximab.
"We are very excited with this finding as it underscores the importance of the KRAS-variant for all ovarian cancer patients, and more broadly supports the role of microRNA genetics in tumor biology. We look forward to completing additional clinical studies to add to the scientific body of proof about this and other microRNA variants as companion diagnostic tests to improve outcome for cancer patients," commented Martin Verhoef, President and CEO of MiraDx.
Ovarian cancer affects 22,000 women per year in the US and is the most deadly cancer with approximately 16,000 deaths per year. There are currently no other tests available that predict risk, patient outcome and platinum resistance for ovarian cancer.
About Mira Dx
MiraDx is dedicated to guiding health through the assessment of genetic risk to direct screening as well as allowing selection of the most effective therapies for cancer patients. The company's program is built on breakthrough research in the field of microRNA genetics. By combining a fundamental understanding of cancer biology with critical insight into clinical utility, MiraDx has created a program of tests that give new insights into cancer risk and management. Application of the results of these tests will allow physicians to better manage patients, with improved disease prevention and patient outcome.
(1) A KRAS variant is a biomarker of poor outcome, platinum chemotherapy resistance and a potential target for therapy in ovarian cancer. ES Ratner, FK Keane, R Lindner, RA Tassi, T Paranjape, M Glasgow, S Nallur, Y Deng, L Lu, L Steele, S Sand, R-U Muller, E Bignotti, S Bellone, M Boeke, X Yao, S Pecorelli, A Ravaggi, D Katsaros, D Zelterman, MC Cristea, H Yu, TJ Rutherford, JN Weitzel, SL Neuhausen, PE Schwartz, FJ Slack1, AD Santin and JB Weidhaas, Oncogene December 5, 2011, epub ahead of print.