Colorectal Cancer Chemo Resistance Tied to Gene Mutation
Advanced colorectal cancer that demonstrates resistance to chemotherapy may have a mutation in the TFAP2E gene, a new Germany study suggests. According to HealthDay News, researchers from the University Madgeburg analyzed how the gene functions in maintaining colorectal cancer tumors.
“In our study, we identified a gene which is frequently altered in colorectal cancer,” explained lead researcher Matthias Ebert. “This genetic alteration is associated with increased resistance to chemotherapy and radiation in colorectal cancers.”
Ebert and his colleagues identified the gene by examining more than 200 patients with late-stage colorectal cancer. All participants were undergoing chemotherapy as treatment. In the first group of 74 patients, 38 had a mutation in the TFAP2E gene. This trend was observed in the subsequent groups as well.
After further research, the team found that the mutate tumor cells allowed the tumor to become resistant to fluorouracil, a commonly used chemo drug. The tumors did not display similar resistance to irinotecan or oxaliplatin—two other chemo drugs—however.
The team hopes that knowing which patients carry the gene will help doctors to recommend alternative forms of treatment.