The European project COLTHERES classifies colorectal cancer into three subtypes

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Researchers of the COLTHERES European project have presented on the American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers symposium, held between 24 and 26 January, the preliminary results of the program that intends to encourage clinical trials of personalized therapies in colorectal cancer.

Researchers have developed a new classification system that categorizes colorectal tumors into three completely different subtypes according to their pattern of gene expression. The ultimate goal is to use this new classification in making treatment decisions.

Josep Tabernero, director of clinical research at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology, has been in charge of presenting the study at the ASCO GI Symposium. Tabernero explained that this categorization “may be clinically relevant, since tumors differ in developmental biology and therefore require different treatment strategies.” Patients with subtype C are the worst outcome and respond poorly to chemotherapy with fluorouracil, while subtypes A and B have better results.

The Consortium comprises clinical units that are pioneering biomarker testing for targeted therapies and leading translational research groups with a proven track record in developing companion diagnostics for cancer therapies.

The Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Program of the IDIBELL, led by Manel Esteller, participates on this project, which brings about international experts in the fields of functional genomics and epigenomics, pharamacogenetics, bio-informatics and clinical oncology. The contribution of IDIBELL to Coltheres is to obtain epigenomic profiles in patients and experimental models in order to find new prognostic and drug resistance biomarkers in colorectal cancer.

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