Biomarker Predicts How Prostate Cancer Will Respond to Chemotherapy

Prostate Cancer pic
Prostate Cancer
Image: webmd.com

Compassionate physician Dr. Matthew Taub has been working in the hematology and oncology field for more than two decades. A physician at Optimum Oncology Hematology Associates in Florida, he has treated several benign and malignant disorders over the course of his career. Committed to remaining apprised of developments in his field, Dr. Matthew Taub attends numerous professional meetings during the year.

In December 2018, cancer researchers from Australia discovered a biomarker that can predict how well patients with metastatic prostate cancer will respond to chemotherapy. Known as the mGSTP1 (glutathione s transferase gene) biomarker, researchers discovered the presence of this gene in the blood of more than 80 percent of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Following two cycles of chemotherapy using docetaxel, the biomarker was not found in 53 percent of cases. This decrease in mGSTP1 was also associated with better overall survival rates and slower progression of the disease.

Scientists discovered that mGSTP1 was a biomarker for prostate cancer more than two decades ago. However, the current study was the first phase 3 investigation of how patients with this gene responded to chemotherapy. Although more research is needed, scientists feel that the discovery of how mGSTP1 responds to chemotherapy will help physicians better customize treatment based on the genetic makeup of a patient’s cancer. It will also hopefully lead to the development of the first epigenetic biomarkers for prostate cancer.

FDA Approves First Therapy for Newly Diagnosed PTCLs

PTCLs pic
PTCLs
Image: medscape.org

Trained at New York Medical College and the now-dissolved University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Dr. Matthew Taub is a board-certified oncologist based in Florida. Drawing on decades of experience, Dr. Matthew Taub provides evidence-based medical treatment in accordance with guidelines published by the National Cancer Committee Network for a wide range of cancers.

Until recently, no FDA-approved treatment existed for patients with newly-diagnosed CD30-expressing peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs). Now, the FDA recommends treating PTCLs using brentuximab vedotin injection in conjunction with chemotherapy. This conclusion was made within two weeks of submission to the agency due to the new Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) program. Intended to expedite the clinical availability of lifesaving treatments, the RTOR was just launched this past July.

The FDA looked at the ECHELON-2 clinical trial involving 452 patients with PTCLs when it made its decision. Patients in the trial received standard chemotherapy or chemotherapy with brentuximab vedotin injection. In the later arm of the study, patients experienced a median of 48 months of progression-free survival compared to 21 months for the control group with a P-value of 0.01.

Lactoferrin May Help Alleviate Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Lactoferrin pic
Lactoferrin
Image: webmd.com

Possessing more than two decades of professional experience, Dr. Matthew Taub is a board-certified oncologist who also trained in hematology. Dr. Matthew Taub treats patients through Everglades Oncology and Hematology in Miramar, Florida. Relying on evidence-based practices in oncology, he continually seeks out new information that can improve the patient experience, especially in relation to chemotherapy.

Researchers have recently found that a daily lactoferrin supplement may help mitigate some of the taste and smell abnormalities observed in patients who undergo chemotherapy. About 60 to 70 percent of patients experience these issues in relation to this treatment, but researchers have still not identified the underlying cause. Alleviating these symptoms could help generate more optimism among patients battling cancer.

The initial study, conducted at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech), involved only 19 patients and 12 healthy controls. The researchers associated taste and smell abnormalities with high levels of salivary iron and the loss of certain salivary immune proteins. Lactoferrin supplementation was found to reduce salivary iron significantly while increasing immune proteins like annexin A1 and proteinase inhibitor. In addition, there was a significant reduction in the taste and smell abnormality score among patients undergoing chemotherapy, with a P-value of less than 0.001.