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Promising Data on Head and Neck Cancer Announced by DNAR at 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 3, 2008 - The DNA Repair Company (DNAR), an emerging company focused on personalized approaches to cancer treatment, today announced promising early clinical data for identifying effective treatment regimens for head and neck cancer. An analysis of DNA repair protein biomarkers was performed in collaboration with the University of Chicago Medical Center that identified biomarker combinations as novel predictors of response to treatment with induction chemotherapy and overall survival. The data were presented yesterday by the lead investigator Tanguy Seiwert, MD, Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, from The University of Chicago at the 44th Annual American Society for Clinical Oncology Meeting. The study's senior author was Everett Vokes, MD, also from the University of Chicago.

"The identification of DNA repair markers that can help inform the choice of optimal therapy for individual patients has the potential to greatly improve patient outcomes," remarked Dr. Seiwert. "Our results are an early example of how we can integrate multiple pathway analysis in a way that could provide physicians with new data-driven insights to guide individual treatment decisions."

DNA repair pathways correct DNA that has been damaged by many common forms of cancer treatment (e.g. chemotherapy and radiation) and play a central role in making tumors resistant to therapy. The authors of the study analyzed tumor samples from locally advanced head and neck cancer patients prior to treatment with carboplatin/paclitaxel induction followed by TFHX-based chemoradiotherapy to identify clinically promising DNA repair biomarkers. The combination of two DNA repair markers, XPF and pMK2, significantly correlated with response to therapy and overall survival (p=0.00228) better than XPF or pMK2 alone. A preliminary algorithm of three DNA repair markers also produced superior results.

Understanding the interrelationship of functional pathways is thought to be an important element in defining predictive and prognostic biomarkers. DNA repair biomarkers used in conjunction with one another increased the likelihood of distinguishing responders from non-responders to chemoradiotherapy treatments. Expanded studies are planned to validate the use of multiple biomarkers for head and neck cancer treatment decisions.

About DNAR

DNAR is leveraging its deep knowledge of the role that DNA repair pathways play in cancer to create new tools that give physicians unprecedented data-driven insights into which course of treatment will work most effectively for an individual patient. DNAR aims to improve patient care and reduce inefficient spending by improving physicians' ability to prescribe the most effective treatments the first time from the host of therapeutic options available. DNAR is advancing a major goal of personalized medicine - to identify the right therapy for the right patient, and to reduce the need for "trial and error" medicine.


Feinstein Kean Healthcare
Greg Kelley, 617-577-8110

Posted: June 2008