RNA biomarkers for predicting radiotherapy effectiveness

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The standard of care for patients with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer is radiation therapy to reduce tumor size, followed by surgery.  However, colorectal cancer patients do not respond equally to radiation therapy.

Researchers at OHSU have identified an RNA signature comprised of a microRNA and 4 target genes (mRNAs) that can differentiate between colorectal cancer patients having a partial or no response to radiation therapy. In particular, this signature can be used as a biomarker to predict which patients will respond to standard of care radiation therapy, enabling the clinical management of the non-responding patient to encompass alternative neoadjuvant therapy. 


Technology at a glance:

•       RNA signature is differentially expressed in colorectal cancer patients relative to radiation therapy response

•       RNA signature can be used as a biomarker to identify colorectal cancer patients that will or will not benefit from neoadjuvant radiation therapy




Rana SR, Kelley K, Ruhi R, Thomas CR, Tsikitis VL, Anand S. MicroRNA regulation of radiation sensitivity in colorectal cancers. J Clin Oncol 35, 2017 (suppl 4s; abstract 608).

Kelley KA, R.S., Ruhl R, Rana SR, Dewey E, Espinosa-Diez C,Thomas CR Jr, Martindale RG, Anand S*, Tsikitis VL*, Understanding and Resetting Radiation Sensitivity In Rectal Cancer. Annals of Surgery, 2017. Provisionally accepted.        

Ruhl, R., et al., MicroRNA-451a regulates colorectal cancer radiosensitivity. bioRxiv Preprint Server, 2017. http://biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2017/05/09/136234.full.pdf.


Intellectual Property

U.S. provisional patent application filed 01/06/2017.


Licensing Opportunity

This technology is available for exclusive licensing.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Anne Carlson
Technology Development Manager
Oregon Health & Science University
Sudarshan Anand
Vassiliki (liana) Tsikitis
Diagnostics - Cancer
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