Cancer Diagnostics

VEGF used to predict a patient’s response to immunology treatment

VEGF Used to Predict a Patient's Response to Immunology TreatmentIpilimumab is commonly used as an immunotherapy treatment for patients battling metastatic melanoma (skin) cancer. The drug which is an immune-checkpoint inhibitor works by blocking the action of CTL antigen-4(CTLA-4).

VEGF is strongly involved in a process called angiogenesis and promotes new blood vessel formation and growth, effectively providing nutrients to the growing tumour. Researchers carried out a retrospective study of 176 patients between the ages of 16 – 91 years, typically in stage four of the disease. Blood samples were analysed before and after the immunology treatment. Findings published in ‘Cancer Immunology Research’ suggest that combining VEGF inhibitors and immunotherapy may be of benefit to patients being treated by Ipilimumab.

VEGF levels recorded from 176 patients ranged between 0.1 – 894.4 pg/ml. The cut-off value was set at 43 pg/ml by researchers; patients with results greater than this value were classed as VEGF high and results below this were classified as VEGF low.

Results found that 24 weeks after starting Ipilimumab treatment, 41% of patients showing a VEGF-low result experienced a positive response to treatment, as opposed to 23% of VEGF-high patients. VEGF-high patients were likely to be less responsive, and were 60 per cent more likely to die from the disease when compared with participants with lower VEGF levels.

It has been noted that whilst pre-treatment levels of VEGF could potentially predict treatment outcome, once treatment has commenced, VEGF levels vary and these changes do not have any correlation to treatment outcomes.

References: www.cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org, www.aacr.org

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The Randox Research division offers a high quality Cytokine Array I, allowing researchers to simultaneously measure VEGF with other cytokines, chemokines and growth factors, all on one multiplex array. For more information, visit www.randox.com  or email research@randox.com

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