Patients in the trial were randomized to have the choice of chemotherapy treatment decided through ChemoID or to have physicians choose the chemotherapy using standard methods. Sengupta noted oncologists choosing treatments are often dictated by guidelines and insurance considerations.
Those who had their treatments selected through ChemoID had a significantly lower risk of death and, on average, survived 3.5 months longer than those in the physician-choice group.
“We were pleasantly surprised that the ChemoID group did better and that a cancer stem cell-derived test is important in this disease,” Sengupta said. “Where survival in recurrent glioblastoma is extremely poor, 3.5 months or more is wonderful. Some of my patients on this trial are still alive.”
Claudio explained that because ChemoID focuses on choosing treatments using commercially available chemotherapies, this approach offers a way for patients to receive more effective treatment at a lower cost.
Sengupta said the team plans to apply for funding through the National Institutes of Health to develop ChemoID further. A modified platform could expand to include immunotherapy treatments or targeted therapies.
According to Valluri, if the anti-cancer therapy that targets cancer stem cells is incorporated earlier in the treatment plan, ineffective treatments will be eliminated, and patients will be able to receive the maximum therapeutic benefit.
“This is an example of a highly collaborative project,” Sengupta said. “At UC alone, several colleagues, including Dr. Mario Zuccarello and Dr. Rekha Chaudhary, were involved.”
Featured photo at top of a CT brain scan. Photo/Tonpor Kasa/iStock.