There is no doubt that, as we’re moving toward a more precise future for oncology, the medical community will need precise answers to new molecular diagnostic questions. While only a minority of oncology patients currently benefit from genomic matching to targeted therapies, this population needs to continue its expansion driven by the advances in technology and knowledge.

This month’s paper reviews the most relevant and recent findings and discusses the perspectives of genome-driven oncology. Enhancing precision in medicine means pushing the frontiers for development of better drugs by allowing entirely novel approaches, optimizing the use of current and future treatments and improving patient selection for clinical trials moving to the next generation of clinical studies.

In the latter case, the paper points out the importance of capitalizing on real-world data from patients treated on and off trials, mentioning – among others – the AACR Project GENIE which serves as a clinical and genomic data repository in the US. The recognition by the FDA of the use of real-world data to accelerate the expansion of drug approvals for new indications has recently led to the expanded approval of Palbociclib from women with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer to include also male breast cancer.

By defining the genomic changes of each patient’s tumor in real time, physicians are more and more able to select personalized therapies based on these detailed portraits, which have already benefited countless patients.

4bases – when precision makes a difference  

[1] Toward a More Precise Future for Oncology; Murciano-Goroff YR, Taylor BS, Hyman DM, Schram AM; Cancer Cell. 2020 Apr 13;37(4):431-442. Doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2020.03.014.