Early Biomarkers for Prediction of Chemotherapy-induced RNA Disruption in Tumour Cells

Chemotherapy agents can induce the degradation of a molecule in tumour cells called RNA. We call this phenomenon “RNA disruption”. High tumour RNA disruption after about 1 month of chemotherapy predicts for complete tumour destruction and improved cancer patient survival. We and Rna Diagnostics, Inc. are using this knowledge to predict patient outcome from chemotherapy. Patients with tumours not exhibiting high RNA disruption are likely to benefit from discontinuing chemotherapy and moving on to other treatments. We now have knowledge of earlier events within tumour cells that precede RNA disruption. The student will example some of these earlier events, with the goal of possibly identifying new tools to predict chemotherapy treatment outcome even earlier during treatment.

Samantha Ligi
Faculty Supervisor: 
Tom Kovala
Partner University: