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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 11/21/12

Individualizing Colon Cancer Therapy Using Hybrid RNA and DNA Molecular Signatures

Timothy J. Yeatman, MD
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL

Dr. Yeatman’s team has recently developed gene expression signatures, RAS and PI3K signatures, to measure the activation of two of the most important pathways in colon cancer for which there is an increasing availability of pathway targeted therapeutics. Due to the complex nature of these pathways, simple analysis of single gene mutations only identifies a proportion of the patients who may respond to these targeted agents. In their SPECS II project, this team will combine RNA gene expression signatures with gene mutation assessments to identify responders and non-responders to cetuximab therapy.


  • The project team includes investigators from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Merck Research Laboratories, Covance Genomics Laboratory, and High Throughput Genomics, Inc.

  • Specimens will be acquired from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center’s biorepository.

  • Statistical support will be provided by the Biostatistics Core for the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.


  • Technically validate the existing RAS and PI3K signatures and refine their performance through novel mutational assessments.

  • Clinically validate the improved multi-analyte signatures in a CLIA environment with a cohort of colorectal cancer patients treated with cetuximab therapy.