UC physician-scientists believe identifying a genetic “fingerprint” could help predict which specific therapies will be most effective for patients with gastric cancer.
Syed Ahmad, MD, is leading a national, phase-2 trial to test the effectiveness of combined chemo-therapy and radiation therapy given to patients with gastric cancer before surgery. His team will also collect biological samples in an attempt to obtain genetic data that could be used to formulate targeted therapies.
Previous studies have established that either chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery can improve patient survival compared with surgery alone. Overall survival rates, however, remain low—with only 20 to 30 percent of American patients surviving more than five years after treatment.
This trial addresses what Ahmad calls the “future of cancer therapy”—targeted drug regimens, based on the characteristics of a patient’s specific tumor.
His goal is to identify genetic data that could help predict whether patients will respond to therapy, and then identify drugs to address the specific molecular characteristics of that patient’s tumor.
The study is enrolling patients with up to stage-3 gastric cancer. For more information, call (513) 584-0436.