PGxHealth and University of Pittsburgh are joining forces to research genes that can be used to determine a patient’s response to anticancer mAbs. They will focus on the application of genetic variants in FCGR (Fc gamma receptor) genes, including FCGR3A.
Initially, PGxHealth will work with Robert Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor and chief, division of head and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). They will conduct a series of clinical programs to evaluate the response to Erbitux (Eli Lilly, Merck Serono, Bristol-Myers Squibb) in the treatment of head and neck cancer.
The research scope will expand in the near term to include other cancers and treatments like Rituxan (Genentech, Biogen Idec), Herceptin (Genentech), and other mAbs of the IgG1 subclass. The research may also extend to other disease areas where mAb therapies are important, such as rheumatoid arthritis, they add.
The partnership expands PGxHealth’s FCGR program, which includes collaborations with other researchers, and its own PGxPredict®:Rituximab test for a gene variant used to determine response to rituximab monotherapy in follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
FCGR3A binds both natural and therapeutic IgG1 antibodies. The FCGR3A receptor transmits signals from the membrane into the cell via tyrosine kinase activity. This signaling pathway is important in regulating antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, a mechanism that is key to the efficacy of many mAb therapies.
Recent studies have suggested that genotyping FGCR3A and other Fc gamma receptors may be important in predicting response to Erbitux in colorectal cancer and to Herceptin in breast cancer, PGxHealth and UPCI report.
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