Response Genetics launches new genetic diagnostic test for gastric cancer

Response Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq:RGDX), a company focused on the development and sale of molecular diagnostic tests for cancer, announced today the availability of its ResponseDX: Gastric™ genetic test panel, a proprietary PCR-based diagnostic test. By analyzing the expression of genes that correlate with response to commonly used chemotherapy agents, physicians can better tailor treatment for their patients with gastric cancer and gastroesophageal (GE) junction cancer. Approximately 37,000 people diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S. may benefit from ResponseDX: Gastric™ testing. This newest ResponseDX™ test is available nationwide through the company’s national sales force.

“ResponseDX™ tests offer physicians and their patients an objective way to chart a course of therapy during a very stressful time – the period between diagnosis and the start of treatment,” said Kathleen Danenberg, CEO and president of Response Genetics, Inc. “By personalizing care based on a tumor’s genetic makeup―as opposed to the “one-size-fits-all” approach that has been the standard until now―patients can receive the drug most likely to benefit their unique situation.”

ResponseDX: Gastric™ tests quantitatively analyze three genes: excision repair cross-complementing factor 1 (ERCC1), thymidylate synthase (TS) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). ERCC1 gene expression is a molecular marker shown to correlate with sensitivity to platinum-based drugs such as cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin; TS gene expression is a biomarker for sensitivity to the drug 5- fluorouracil (5-FU), an inhibitor of DNA replication and a component of the combination 5-fluorouracil-folinic acid- oxaliplatin (FOLFOX); and HER2 is a marker for sensitivity to trastuzumab, which was recently shown to have activity in gastric cancer.

Data from Response Genetics-sponsored studies and others show that in order for gastric cancer patients to derive the maximum benefit from FOLFOX therapy, expression of both ERCC1 and TS genes must be at specific levels. However, if either marker is below a specific threshold, other therapies are available as alternative options (e.g., FOLFIRI).

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