New Research on Tumor Genetics and Personalized Medicine in Cancer

Last Updated: May 11, 2018

Dr. Julie Vose discusses “precision medicine” cancer research highlighted at ASCO’s 2016 Annual Meeting. These studies cover matching treatment tumor genetics for several types of cancer and a less invasive way to identify tumor genetics, called liquid biopsy. 


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Cancer Research News from the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting

Precision Medicine

Saturday, June 4, 2016, Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO, ASCO President, 2015-2016

Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO:  At the precision medicine press briefing today, two studies I'd like to highlight. One was a study on so-called liquid biopsies, and that's what we're looking at circulating tumor DNA. The authors evaluated 15,000 samples of patients with very solid tumors that looked for the circulating tumor DNA. What they found was that, in patients that had the actual tumor and the blood of liquid biopsy done within a short period of time, within six months, there's a very high concordance of the outcomes for that. Patients who had the liquid biopsies done more than six months from their original tumor, they found more and more additional mutation. So this type of a biopsy, potentially in the future, could be used for trying to follow a patient on therapy or trying to actually look for new mutations, potentially that we could change the therapy for the patient. So I think we'll be seeing more and more research on this type of a biopsy.

The second study I want to talk about is a basket trial that looked at several different types of mutations that you normally wouldn't expect in different types of tumors. So they were looking at mutations for HER2, looking at mutations for EGFR, for BRAF and for Hedgehog, and tumors where we normally wouldn't necessarily expect them. So patients that, for example, that had colon cancer, they were found to have a fairly high amount array of HER2 abnormalities. The patients that then had those identified abnormalities were treated with agents that were directed against those mutations. And so, in this type of a basket trial, we're using FDA approved therapies but for a non-approved use. Even though there's no conclusive outcome from this trial, it's very interesting and promising, and I think this type of precision medicine directed therapy will be something we'll see a lot more of in the future.

[Closing and Credits]

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