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.

Sincerely,

Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO
Coeditor in Chief
Personalized Medicine in Oncology

Uncategorized - June 15, 2015

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 ]

Uncategorized - June 15, 2015

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 ]