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MEDICAL SERVICES
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Aliso Viejo-based Clarient advances therapy for lung cancer

Company launches gene mutation test to help physicians treat the disease.

By Kristen SchottPublished: June 15, 2009 09:33 AM

Aliso Viejo-based Clarient, which specializes in anatomic pathology and molecular diagnostics, is introducing a gene mutation test that is expected to help physicians select the proper treatment for nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation testing can explain why patients with this form of cancer may respond to certain therapies, according to Clarient CEO Ron Andrews.

"This information can help pathologists and oncologists improve the overall management of this difficult disease," he continues.

Nonsmall cell lung cancer accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancer cases. There are three different sub-categories of the disease, and the cells differ in size, shape and chemical makeup.

EGFR is the cell-surface receptor for members of the epidermal growth factor family. It works by activating a pathway that leads to cell production, lack of differentiation, enhanced cell survival and gene transcription. The EGFR gene is an important target in cancer therapy; mutations on it can be seen in about 10 to 15 percent of nonsmall cell lung cancer patients.

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