OMS to participate in an international clinical trial to optimize brain tumor therapy

DURHAM, NC (USA) and LIEGE (BELGIUM) - OncoMethylome Sciences announced today that it will perform MGMT gene methylation testing for a multi-center clinical trial for patients with brain tumors conducted jointly by the U.S.-based Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). With patient enrollment underway, the trial was designed to determine whether increasing the intensity of temozolomide drug treatment regimen for patients with glioblastoma multiforme tumors improves clinical outcomes over standard-dose temozolomide. This phase III trial brings together a valuable network of international medical centers and universities and is the first such collaborative study between RTOG and EORTC organizations.

The clinical trial builds on a recent EORTC/NCI-C study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2005; 352: 997-1003) which demonstrated that brain tumor patients with methylated, or silenced, DNA repair enzyme gene MGMT had a more favorable survival response to temozolomide therapy than patients with unmethylated, or expressed, MGMT gene. Consequently, the goal of the current trial is to analyze whether all glioblastoma patients, but especially those with unmethylated MGMT, can benefit from a more intensive temozolomide treatment regimen. To assist in this effort, OncoMethylome Sciences will be providing testing services to determine the methylation status of the MGMT gene in brain tumor patients enrolled in the trial.

"Brain tumors are among the most aggressive and fatal adult tumors," stated Walter J. Curran, Jr, MD, Group Chair of the RTOG. "By joining forces with other international cancer experts, such as the EORTC, and utilizing the promising new OncoMethylome Sciences' test, we hope to contribute to a significant improvement in treatment of brain tumor patients."

"OncoMethylome is very proud to be involved in current efforts to improve brain tumor treatment," said Herman Spolders, CEO of OncoMethylome Sciences. "We hope to demonstrate in this large clinical trial that our methylation technology can provide valuable information about the molecular profile of a patient's tumor, paving the way for personalized and more effective treatment for each individual patient."

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For further information, please contact:

OncoMethylome Sciences (USA)
Harry Schrickx
Tel. +1-919-281-0980, #14
Harry.Schrickx@oncomethylome.com

OncoMethylome Sciences (Belgium)
Lucija Turcinov
Tel. +32-479-801-902
Lucija.Turcinov@oncomethylome.com

European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (Belgium)
Denis Lacombe
Tel. +32-2-774-1635
Denis.Lacombe@eortc.be

Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (USA)
Tom Wudarski
Tel. +1-215-574-3205

About Brain Tumors

The most common primary malignant brain tumors, called gliomas, account for almost 80% of the more than 18,000 primary malignant brain tumors diagnosed each year in the United States alone. Of these, glioblastomas are the most frequent and the most aggressive, amounting to the third leading cause of cancer-related death in adults aged 20 to 29.

About OncoMethylome Sciences

OncoMethylome Sciences is a molecular diagnostics company developing gene methylation tests for early cancer detection and personalized treatment decisions. Specifically, OncoMethylome solutions are designed to (1) detect cancer at an early stage of the disease and at a high level of accuracy, and (2) predict and monitor response to cancer therapy for optimal and more individualized treatment decisions.

OncoMethylome Sciences has a strong pipeline of patented diagnostic products, based on clinically validated cancer markers and the proven MSP technology, for major types of cancer. The Company collaborates with leading international molecular oncology research centers, such as The Johns Hopkins University, and has a number of commercial and collaborative partnerships with Veridex LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company, Chemicon International Inc., EXACT Sciences Corp., and Schering-Plough Corp.

The offices of the Company are located in the Research Triangle Park area of Durham, NC, USA, in Belgium (in Giga Center, University of Liege), and in the Netherlands. For additional information, visit www.oncomethylome.com.

About Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) The RTOG is the clinical research component of the American College of Radiology (ACR), located in the ACR Philadelphia, PA office. RTOG is a multi-institutional international clinical cooperative group funded primarily by the National Cancer Institute. RTOG has over 30 years of experience in conducting clinical trials and is comprised of over 250 major research institutions in the United States and Canada. The group currently is conducting more than 40 active studies that involve radiation therapy alone or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapeutic drugs or which investigate quality of life issues and their effects on the cancer patient. (www.rtog.org)

About European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)

Based in Brussels, Belgium, the EORTC is a cooperative group unifying major medical centers throughout Europe for the purpose of conducting clinical and translational cancer research. Over 200 medical centers and universities participate in the EORTC activities. The ultimate goal of the EORTC is to improve the standard of cancer treatment in Europe, through the development of innovative drugs, and to establish more effective therapeutic strategies, using drugs already commercially available, or surgery and radiotherapy. (www.eortc.be)


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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