Diagnostic Tool Provides Additional Therapeutic Treatment Guidance for Third Deadliest Form of Cancer

Released: 5/28/2008 4:10 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Genzyme Corporation
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Newswise — Genzyme Genetics announced today that it now offers KRAS mutation testing for colorectal cancer. The Genzyme assay, now validated in colorectal cancer and other solid tumors, evaluates a patient's tumor tissue for mutations in the KRAS gene. Recent studies have shown that identifying KRAS mutations can assist oncologists in selecting treatment for patients with colorectal cancer.

"Determining how efficacious a therapy will be for a cancer patient is an important component of personalized medicine," said Michael C. Dugan, M.D., vice president of pathology services at Genzyme Genetics. "Colorectal cancer is not only the third most common type of cancer, but it is also the third deadliest. It is vital for oncologists to determine the best course of therapy for their patients, since time is of the essence when treating cancer. Choosing the most effective therapy can extend a patient's life, as well as improve overall quality of life."

Mutations in the KRAS gene have been associated with poor prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer and have been reported in approximately 30 to 50 percent of cases of colorectal adenocarcinoma. Recent studies have shown that KRAS mutations are associated with resistance to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

Evaluation of KRAS can therefore help to identify patients who may not benefit from cetuximab (ERBITUX®) or panitumumab (Vectibix®) treatment.
"Selecting the best treatment option for each patient is critical to reducing side effects and morbidity and can improve patient outcomes," added Dugan. "It also helps to increase the cost effectiveness of therapy. Since many chemotherapy options exist for colorectal cancer, it is especially useful to refine the options based on laboratory test results."

To learn more about the Genzyme Genetics KRAS Mutation Analysis please visit the test menu on the web site http://www.genzymegenetics.com.

About Genzyme Genetics
Genzyme Genetics is a leading, nationwide provider of high quality genetic testing and genetic counseling services for physicians and their patients. With laboratories and counseling facilities located across the U.S., Genzyme Genetics offers extensive reproductive and cancer testing services, supported by innovative technology and a commitment to quality service and trusted information. Genzyme Genetics is a business unit of Genzyme Corporation.

About Genzyme

One of the world's leading biotechnology companies, Genzyme is dedicated to making a major positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. Since 1981, the company has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 10,000 employees in locations spanning the globe and 2007 revenues of $3.8 billion. In 2007, Genzyme was chosen to receive the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States for technological innovation.

With many established products and services helping patients in nearly 90 countries, Genzyme is a leader in the effort to develop and apply the most advanced technologies in the life sciences. The company's products and services are focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant, and diagnostic testing. Genzyme's commitment to innovation continues today with a substantial development program focused on these fields, as well as immune disease, infectious disease, and other areas of unmet medical need.

Genzyme® is a registered trademark of Genzyme Corporation.
ERBITUX® is a registered trademark of ImClone Systems Incorporated.
Vectibix® is a registered trademark of Immunex Corporation.


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