Novel biomarker found in ovarian cancer patients can predict response to therapy

IMAGE: Tumor-specific expression of CT45 stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer and improves the efficacy of platinum-based chemotherapy. view more 

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Credit: Ernst Lengyel et al.

Despite months of aggressive treatment involving surgery and chemotherapy, about 85 percent of women with high-grade wide-spread ovarian cancer will have a recurrence of their disease. This leads to further treatment, but never to a cure. About 15 percent of patients, however, do not have a recurrence. Most of those women remain disease free for years.

In the September 20, 2018 issue of the biomedical journal Cell, research teams from the University of Chicago Medicine; the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried/ Munich, Germany; and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research in Copenhagen, Denmark, identify an independent prognostic factor — cancer/testis antigen 45 – and began to elucidate it’s actions.

CT45 is associated with extended disease-free survival for women with advanced ovarian cancer. The team of physicians and scientists found that patients with high levels of CT45 in their tumors lived more than seven times as long as patients who lacked sufficient CT45. Data from long-term survivors averaged 2,754 days (7.5 years), compared to only 366 days for patients who had little or


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