Tuesday, January 5, 2010
TUESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Overall survival for multiple myeloma (MM) patients has increased substantially in recent decades for patients aged 65 years or younger, while prognosis for survival in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) can be determined by methylation in key genes, according to a pair of studies published online Dec. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Ingemar Turesson, M.D., of Malmö University Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues compared overall survival in a cohort of 773 MM patients, including patients aged 65 years or younger treated with high-dose melphalan with autologous stem-cell support (HDM-ASCT), and patients older than 65, ineligible for HDM-ASCT. The researchers found that patients diagnosed in 1960 to 1969 had better overall survival than patients diagnosed from 1950 to 1959, regardless of age. However, median overall survival more than doubled in the 65-years-or-younger age group in recent decades, while no significant improvement occurred for those older than 65.
In another study, Lanlan Shen, M.D., of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues screened 24 patients with MDS for promoter CpG island methylation in 24 genes. Aberrant hypermethylation was discovered in 10 genes, which were further analyzed in 317 patient samples from other studies to assess the relation between methylation and clinical outcome. The researchers found that patients with higher levels of methylation had a shorter median overall survival than those with lower levels (12.3 versus 17.5 months) as well as shorter median progression-free survival (6.4 versus 14.9 months).
"In conclusion, we developed gene methylation signatures based on a combination of 10 genes that predict both overall and progression-free survival in patients with MDS," Shen and colleagues write.
Several of the authors in the second study reported receiving consulting fees or research funding from pharmaceutical companies.
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