Co-Expression Extrapolation (COXEN) Gene Analysis May Enable Prediction of Patient Response to Pre-Surgical Chemotherapy for Bladder Cancer

Data from a University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center-led clinical trial show that a predictive tool called COXEN may show which bladder cancer patients will respond to pre-surgical chemotherapy, a step towards allowing doctors to offer such chemotherapy to patients likely to respond, while moving more efficiently to other treatment options with patients unlikely to benefit. Results of this trial will be presented Monday, June 3, at 8:00 am as an oral abstract at the 2019 American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (ASCO abstract #4506) ( in Chicago, Illinois. The title of the abstract is “A Randomized Phase II Study of Co-Expression Extrapolation (COXEN) with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Localized, Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer.” "The idea is that for any individual tumor, its gene expression could tell us whether the cancer will respond to a certain kind of chemotherapy," says Thomas Flaig (photo), MD, Associate Dean for Clinical Research at CU School of Medicine, Chief Clinical Research Officer of UCHealth, and national principal investigator of the COXEN phase II clinical trial. "This is an important clinical application of a concept developed by investigators based in Colorado, which may have implications in predicting the response to chemotherapies across many cancer types." COXEN, which stands for “co-expression extrapolatiom,” was pioneered by former CU Cancer Center Director, Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, now Director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Dr. Thoedorescu's lab used 60 human-derived cancer cell lines curated by the National Cancer Institute to develop a gene expression approach to predicting the sensitivity of these cells to various chemotherapies.
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