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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 69

of 'Medical treatment for relapsed epithelial ovarian, fallopian tubal, or peritoneal cancer: Platinum-sensitive disease'

Highly specific prediction of antineoplastic drug resistance with an in vitro assay using suprapharmacologic drug exposures.
Kern DH, Weisenthal LM
J Natl Cancer Inst. 1990;82(7):582.
Bayes' theorem has been used to describe the relationship between the accuracy of a predictive test (posttest probability) and the overall incidence of what is being tested (pretest probability). Bayes' theorem indicates that laboratory assays will be accurate in the prediction of clinical drug resistance in tumors with high overall response rates (e.g., previously untreated breast cancer) only when the assays are extremely (greater than 98%) specific for drug resistance. We developed a highly specific drug-resistance assay in which human tumor colonies were cultured in soft agar and drugs were tested at high concentrations for long exposure times. Coefficients for concentration x time exceeded those reported in contemporaneous studies by about 100-fold. We reviewed 450 correlations between assay results and clinical response over an 8-year period. Results were analyzed by subsets, including different tumor histologies, single agents, and drug combinations. Extreme drug resistance (an assay result greater than or equal to SD below the median) was identified with greater than 99% specificity. Only one of 127 patients with tumors showing extreme drug resistance responded to chemotherapy. This negligible posttest probability of response was independent of pretest (expected) probability of response. Once this population of patients with tumors showing extreme drug resistance had been identified, posttest response probabilities for the remaining cohorts ofpatients varied according to both assay results and pretest response probabilities, precisely according to predictions based on Bayes' theorem. This finding allowed the construction of a nomogram for determining assay-predicted probability of response.
Oncotech, Inc., Irvine, CA 92714.