Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have identified a gene that may better predict survival for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Researcher Richard Kim, M.D., assistant member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program and colleagues from several other research institutions conducted a study that better defines the role of ribonucleotide reductase M1 (RRM1). The RRM1 gene encodes the regulatory subunit of ribonucleotide reductase, the molecular target of gemcitabine, a commonly used chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer.
In the study, which appeared in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer, the research team investigated the therapeutic predictive value of RRM1 expression for the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine. They found that for patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma removed by surgery, low RRM1 expression predicted an overall survival benefit with gemcitabine therapy. High RRM1 expression predicted benefit from non-gemcitabine therapy.
"We previously hypothesized that low expression of RRM1 could predict the treatment success of gemcitabine," Kim said. "This study was carried out to determine whether RRM1 expression correlates with better survival for patients receiving gemcitabine therapy."