KEN ALDAPE, M.D.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

“Multigene Predictors of Outcome in Glioblastoma”

Dr. Ken Aldape’s lab has preliminarily identified a multi-gene biomarker with potential to predict outcomes in glioblastoma patients when treated with standard therapy.  The goal of this investigation is to develop, optimize, and validate this multi-marker set in patients treated with standard therapy.  In addition, since new targeted therapies are on the horizon, they will modify a multi-gene predictor to be able to predict outcome in patients treated with a new targeted agent.  If successful, this project could make a step towards personalized medicine for patients with brain cancer.

Specifically, Dr. Aldape’s work builds on a recent phase III clinical trial that evaluated the efficacy of temozolomide-chemoradiation (TMZ-CR) in patients with newly diagnosed GBM.  While this trial will influence the standard of care for GBM patients, only a fraction of patients will derive a durable response from this treatment as defined by 2-year survival. Dr. Aldape is working to identify additional markers that will more accurately predict the outcome of patients treated with this regimen.

To move towards optimization of treatment in GBM, it is crucial to advance the development of sensitive and specific markers that will prospectively distinguish patients who will experience a durable response to standard therapy from patients who will not.  Also important is to identify the molecular mechanisms by which key biomarkers mediate treatment resistance.  Towards this end, Dr. Adalpe and his team will investigate a 38-gene set that, in preliminary studies, shows potential to be a robust predictor of 2-year survival in newly diagnosed GBM patients.  Successful validation of a predictive gene set will also provide biologic insights into genes that are critically involved in mediating treatment resistance and poor prognosis.

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