Researchers in Germany and the US have identified a ‘gene signature’ in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) that might help predict who will respond well to chemotherapy with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) and who might need alternative treatment.
The researchers analysed blood samples from 101 people with CLL in the US who did not have high-risk genetic mutations and who were treated with FCR. They also analysed how long these people responded to treatment with FCR before their lymphoma got worse. Using this data, they identified a particular pattern in 17 genes (a ‘gene signature’) that helped predict who would have a long-lasting response to FCR and who might benefit from alternative treatment instead.
This gene signature was checked using data from 109 patients in Germany with similar results.
The authors suggest that the gene signature should now be tested as part of a randomised clinical trial to confirm if it would be beneficial for people with CLL.