Study detailed in Clinical Cancer Research looked at ABCB1 gene, which helps carry various anticancer drugs.

Scientists led by the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) found an association between a combination of ABCB1 gene variations and a better prognosis for women with ovarian cancer.

The ABCB1 gene is responsible for the body’s ability to transport a broad range of anticancer drugs, explain the investigators, who reported their findings in Clinical Cancer Research. They analysed variations of these genes by looking at progression-free and overall survival in 309 women with ovarian cancer who were treated with chemotherapy drugs.

The found that women who had minimal residual disease and were carrying a particular combination of ABCB1 gene variations took a much longer time to relapse following treatment.

Further research is needed to understand the role of different chemotherapy drugs as well as to see if this gene combination is linked to overall survival, according to Georgia Chenevix-Trench, Ph.D., head of the cancer and cell biology laboratory at QIMR.

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