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Agendia set to conduct groundbreaking cancer research

The Irvine-based biotech firm has partnered with two medical organizations to study tumor genetics in colorectal cancer.

by brandon russellPublished: June 13, 2011

Irvine-based molecular diagnostics company Agendia has teamed up with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in an effort to improve the diagnosis and treatment options for patients with colorectal cancer.

Under the new collaboration, the three organizations will study the unique patterns of gene and protein expression (the process by which information from a gene is used in the creation of a gene product) in a patient’s cancerous tumor, through the integration of genomic and proteomic technologies. What this will ultimately do is provide researchers with greater insight into why patients often have varied reactions to the same cancer treatment.

Colorectal cancer is reportedly one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths throughout the world, with more than 1.2 million new cases a year. More than half of those who develop this cancer don’t survive.

"In MD Anderson and NKI, we have found not only experts in the fields of functional genomics, proteomics and clinical oncology, but also partners who share our commitment to putting the most effective tools in the hands of physicians and their patients to simplify difficult cancer decisions," said Dr. Bernhard Sixt, CEO of Agendia.

Past medical research often focused on only one aspect of the cancer’s progression. Research performed by Agendia, the MD Anderson Cancer Center and NKI will analyze samples of the disease on multiple molecular levels.

Agendia will also conduct independent research of its colon-cancer-recurrence test, called ColoPrint, which may help to identify stage-two colon cancer patients who are either at a low or high risk of a disease recurrence. When applied in a clinical setting, Agendia’s ColoPrint potentially gives researchers and clinicians more reliable treatment options for patients with stage-two colon cancer.

"The unique structure of this consortium makes possible the rapid translation of results from research and discovery to the clinical setting that benefits patients sooner," said Dr. Scott Kopetz, principal investigator of this research consortium and assistant professor at MD Anderson’s Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology.

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