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Cancer Res. 2012 Aug 15;72(16):3901-5. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

The microculture-kinetic (MiCK) assay: the role of a drug-induced apoptosis assay in drug development and clinical care.

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Wilshire Oncology Medical Group-US Oncology, La Verne, California 91750, USA.


A drug-induced apoptosis assay, termed the microculture-kinetic (MiCK) assay, has been developed. Blinded clinical trials have shown higher response rates and longer survival in groups of patients with acute myelocytic leukemia and epithelial ovarian cancer who have been treated with drugs that show high apoptosis in the MiCK assay. Unblinded clinical trials in multiple tumor types have shown that the assay will be used frequently by clinicians to determine treatment, and when used, results in higher response rates, longer times to relapse, and longer survivals. Model economic analyses suggest possible cost savings in clinical use based on increased generic drug use and single-agent substitution for combination therapies. Two initial studies with drugs in development are promising. The assay may help reduce costs and speed time to drug approval. Correlative studies with molecular biomarkers are planned. This assay may have a role both in personalized clinical therapy and in more efficient drug development.

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