June 2015, Vol 4, No 3

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The Increasingly Important Role of Pathology in Oncology Patient Care

Letter to Our Readers

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 late, we have been intrigued by the growing role of the pathologist. This era of breakthroughs in genetic medicine has placed pathologists at the forefront, delivering essential diagnostic clinical data to help determine the best treatment options for patients. There has been much debate over the proposal by the FDA to regulate laboratory developed tests. In this issue of PMO, the Interview with the Innovators department features our exchange with Drs Klein and Pratt of the Association for Molecular Pathology about the implications of this proposal.

Also in this issue, Ms Tsui and Dr Reckamp contribute their paper entitled “Expanding Options for EGFR-Mutant Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer with Afatinib,” and we continue to explore the changing landscape of oncology care through the fascinating science behind oncogenic driver mutations and their implications for patient care. Drs Yeh and Bazhenova at the University of California, San Diego, present “BRAF Mutations: An Old Oncogene and a New Target in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer”; and Drs Shatsky and Bazhenova present “The RET Oncogene in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: Review of the Current Literature and Directions for the Future.”

We are dedicated to providing in-depth articles of the most compelling research from the personalized medicine front for all of us involved in patient care. It is our hope this information assists you in providing the best care for your patients.


Coeditor in Chief
Personalized Medicine in Oncology

PMO Live - June 15, 2015

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 ]

Lung Cancer - June 15, 2015

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 ]