Memorial Sloan Kettering has started testing the cancers of its patients for 341 cancer-related genes. It is collaborating with Quest Diagnostics to perform the analyses in an effort to identify biomarkers that can best guide appropriate therapy. This is precision medicine, and it is happening at other major cancer centers, as well…
The genetic make-up of a cancer is becoming more important than the tissue of origin:
Once a tumor’s genes are analyzed, patients will be grouped with others who have the same mutations, with less regard for whether they have colon cancer, lung cancer or melanoma. The drugs they get will be based on that data. Sloan Kettering has 15 basket trials finished or ongoing, three of which will be presented at the oncology meeting this week, Baselga said.
Amgen now searches for biomarkers early-on in the drug development process of all its products, following a finding in studies with T-Vec in which 16% of treated patients responded well, and two-thirds of the responses lasted over a year. [T-Vec is an intratumoral therapy for melanoma comprised of an oncolytic virus that is engineered to express GM-CSF to trigger an immune response.]
Identifying which patients are likely to have optimal responses is the goal of the biomarker precision medicine effort.