June 2015, Vol 4, No 3

The Increasingly Important Role of Pathology in Oncology Patient Care

Dear Colleague, We are pleased to offer this issue of Personalized Medicine in Oncology (PMO) to you, our reading community. Since the onset of the personalized medicine era, we have repeatedly heard about the importance of the multidisciplinary team to include physicians, nurses, pharmacists, pathologists, social workers, and patients. Of [ Read More ]

Letter to Our Readers

Understanding Implications of the Proposed FDA Regulation of Laboratory Developed Tests

Shortly after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its proposed draft guidance for regulating laboratory developed tests, including molecular diagnostic testing, the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) published a white paper addressing the potential consequences of regulatory and reimbursement dynamics that threaten patient care. The paper, titled “A Molecular [ Read More ]

Interview with the Innovators

Expanding Options for EGFR-Mutant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer with Afatinib

Targeted treatments have proved to be clinically successful and represent the realization of personalized medicine’s potential. In non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), molecularly targeted treatment with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) such as erlotinib and gefitinib have shown dramatic responses in patients with activating mutations.1-3 EGFR [ Read More ]

Elizabeth Tsui; Karen L. Reckamp, MD, MS

Lung Cancer

BRAF Mutations: An Old Oncogene and a New Target in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Lung carcinoma has been the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and worldwide despite advances in chemotherapy.1,2 Management of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has evolved significantly since 2004, when mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) were found to be the determining factor of response to [ Read More ]

Shihfan Yeh, MD; Lyudmila Bazhenova, MD

BRAF Mutations in NSCLC

The RET Oncogene in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: Review of the Current Literature and Directions for the Future

Despite recent advances, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide.1 In the past decade, the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which was once a disease with exceedingly few treatment options and historically poor outcomes, has begun to transform. The discovery of targetable cancer-driving mutations has [ Read More ]

Rebecca A. Shatsky, MD; Lyudmila Bazhenova, MD

RET Oncogene in NSCLC

Case: Former Smoker with Well-Differentiated Adenocarcinoma of the Lung

Genetic tumor profiling, immune profiling, and immunohistocompatibility expression profiling are performed routinely at Yale Cancer Center for patients diagnosed with cancer. The results are presented to the multidisciplinary Molecular Tumor Board, which meets weekly to make treatment decisions. The following case exemplifies a personalized medicine approach and was presented by [ Read More ]

PMO Live

Case Studies: Incorporating Molecular Biomarkers into Therapy for Breast Cancer Is Fraught with Difficulty

Many therapeutic agents target HER2-positive breast cancer. Unfortunately, patient selection for these agents has not been refined, so all HER2-positive patients receive them. In estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease, new agents improve the response to hormone-targeted therapies, but again, the appropriate patients for targeted agents have not been defined. “Because many [ Read More ]

PMO Live

DNA Blood Testing May Be an Alternative to Tumor Sampling for Identifying EGFR Mutations

Circulating cancer DNA in the blood of cancer patients appears to be able to provide information similar to that obtained from tumor tissue sampling, according to a study presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference. This makes blood testing for DNA an attractive option in cases where tumor tissue is [ Read More ]

European Lung Cancer Conference

PARP Inhibitor and PI3K Inhibitor Combo in Breast and Ovarian Cancers

Now that a number of targeted therapies are available for the treatment of cancer, one of the big questions is how best to combine them, especially for patients with few other treatment options. Preliminary study shows that combining the PARP inhibitor olaparib with the investigational PI3K inhibitor BKM120 achieves responses [ Read More ]

2015 AACR Meeting

Genomic Sequencing for Pancreatic Cancer

Just because whole genome sequencing can be done on a patient’s tumor doesn’t mean that this will translate to a patient’s getting targeted therapy for identified genetic abnormalities, especially if that patient has pancreatic cancer. In the Individualized Molecular Pancreatic Cancer Therapy (IMPaCT) Trial, no patient with an identified genetic [ Read More ]

2015 AACR Meeting

ASCO Launches First-Ever Clinical Trial: Aims to Learn from Patients with Advanced Cancer Who Lack Standard Treatment Options

Five Leading Pharmaceutical Companies Will Support Innovative Study, Contribute Drugs The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently announced its first-ever clinical trial that will offer patients with advanced cancer access to molecularly targeted cancer drugs and collect real-world data on clinical outcomes to help learn the best uses of [ Read More ]

Clinical Trials