I was recently asked to speak to an audience of nonmedical adult participants enrolled in a leadership program in St. Petersburg, Florida. Many of the attendees were lawyers, bankers, and other professionals, who were generally foreign to the world of genetic cancer research. I was specifically asked to discuss how Moffitt Cancer Center is working to fight cancer through personalized medicine.
Christine M. Walko, PharmD, BCOP
Every year at ASCO, since I started attending the meeting as a fellow back in 2005, there has been a different personal theme for me. Often it is because of the data being presented, the latest breaking drug, or promising novel tumor biology that can be translated into novel treatments.
The concept of an “incidentaloma” became a phenomenon with improved imaging technologies and increased use in the clinical setting, and refers to a tumor or other abnormal findings on a scan performed for other reasons. Now with increased tumor molecular profiling, healthcare professionals and patients have to contend with incidental germline findings.
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) became the leader of the PD-1 and PD-L1 antibody pack by crossing the finish line first, and successfully being granted accelerated FDA approval in September 2014 based on tumor responses and durability of the responses seen in early clinical trials.
The concept of individualized or personalized medicine in oncology has evolved from the use of imatinib (Gleevec) to target the breakpoint cluster region-Abelson protein (BCR-ABL) in chronic myelogenous leukemia, to next generation sequencing panels able to provide more complete genetic analysis of a given tumor or malignant cell.
As cancer treatment continues to get more targeted, the search for reliable biomarkers to identify patients most likely to benefit from this novel and expensive therapy is essential. The driving role of the androgen receptor in prostate
The concept of “personalized medicine” (PM) or “individualized therapy” continues to become a more central treatment paradigm in the management of malignancies. Multigene assays of tumor tissue are now commercially available and numerous major cancer centers are implementing processes to analyze the results of these assays and help oncologists translate these findings into patient management.