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Pharmacogenetics in colorectal cancer

14th national competition for scientific and technical research

Genetic and pharmacogenetic markers

Senior Researcher : Luis Andrés López Fernández

Research Centre or Institution : Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica del Hospital Gregorio Marañón. Madrid


The use of chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) has achieved high levels of response and greater survival rates among these patients. This has been possible with the use of irinotecan, oxaliplatin and 5-fluorouracil with colorectal cancer patients. However, this therapy still has two negative aspects: there are marked variations in the response to the treatment and there are associated problems of toxicity, with a great range of frequencies and magnitudes. It would be extremely useful to have molecular markers that would tell us whether or not the patient will respond to the treatment and/or if they will present problems of toxicity. At the moment, a series of these genetic markers have been identified, but they still have a limited prediction capacity. Traditionally, these markers have been studied in an isolated manner. In this project, the idea is to approach the search for markers from a global perspective, using the complete genome techniques currently available in our country (expression microarrays and SNP microarrays). Using the new markers found and those already known and recorded in the bibliography, the effectiveness of a pharmacogenetic predictor test for the response and toxicity of the colorectal cancer treatment will be evaluated. If effective, it will be applied in hospitals as part of the normal clinical monitoring of the patient, with the subsequent benefits to the patient and the healthcare system.

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