November 2013, Vol 2, No 7

Redesigning Clinical Trials Necessary to Improve Odds of Finding Effective Targeted Agents in the Genomic Era

Defining optimal therapeutic efficacy in the genomic era will require that clinical trial design in oncology move from a drug-centric to a patient-centric approach. Retrofitting current knowledge into old paradigms will slow the progress in discovering effective targeted agents, said Razelle Kurzrock, MD, at the second annual Global Biomarkers Consortium [ Read More ]


Multiple Myeloma and the MMRF CoMMpass Study: Revolutionizing Clinical Trial Data Dissemination A Panel Discussion With the Researchers

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) launched the CoMMpass study in 2011 to uncover the molecular segments and variations in multiple myeloma. This study, the cornerstone of the larger MMRF Personalized Medicine Initiative, is designed to profile multiple myeloma in a way that no other myeloma trial has attempted, by [ Read More ]

Interview with the Innovators

Multiplex Genetic Assays Identify Mutations Beyond BRCA1/2 in 10% of Patients at Risk for Breast Cancer

One of 10 patients referred for BRCA1/2 mutation testing have pathogenic mutations in other genes, and these often prompt a change in care, according to Stanford University researchers who used a novel cancer gene sequencing panel to fully assess germline mutations in patients at risk for breast cancer. “Multiple-gene sequencing [ Read More ]


Molecular Profiling in Breast Cancer: Still Not Ready for the Clinic

The “new taxonomy” of breast cancer and molecular subtyping of tumors are “making clinical sense” to oncologists, but molecular tools that describe these cancers are still not ready for routine use, according to Joyce O’Shaughnessy, MD, of Texas Oncology-Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, Dallas, Texas. At the 2013 Breast [ Read More ]


Role of Radiation and Imaging in DCIS Explained

Management of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) was the focus of 2 studies highlighted at a premeeting Press Cast for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Breast Cancer Symposium held in San Francisco, California, September 7-9, 2013.1,2 The studies showed: Radiation to the breast as part of treatment of [ Read More ]


Personalizing Therapy in the Management of Recurrent Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: Case Study of a Patient With an EGFR Mutation

At the 2013 conference of the Global Biomarkers Consortium, which took place October 4-6, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts, Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, from the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut, discussed the use of personalizing therapy in the management of recurrent non–small cell lung cancer. A ceiling [ Read More ]


To PARP or Not to PARP – What Is the Question? Part 2 Perspective on the First “Disappointment” With a New Drug Class

In the first article on this topic, appearing in the last issue of PMO, we looked at a sequence of events surrounding an attempt to achieve quick consensus concerning the treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) with a PARP inhibitor. O’Shaughnessy et al selected iniparib as the PARP inhibitor [ Read More ]

Robert E. Henry

The Last Word

Biomarker Development and Validation Crucial to Use of Emerging Treatments in Solid Tumors and Hematologic Malignancies

Biomarker development and validation are essential for the rational use of emerging cancer treatments, said presenters at the second annual Global Biomarkers Consortium conference. “If we don’t identify biomarkers, we’re likely to miss a therapeutic effect,” said Rob Coleman, MD, MBBS. “We want to separate our patients into those that [ Read More ]


Next-Generation Sequencing Identifies Actionable Genomic Alterations in Solid Tumors

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a valuable tool to identify actionable genomic alterations that may be present in a tumor sample, said Gary A. Palmer, MD, JD, MPH, senior vice president of medical affairs at Foundation Medicine Inc, Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the second annual, Global Biomarkers Consortium conference. NGS techniques can [ Read More ]


VA Takes Lead Role in Using Informatics to Validate and Translate Biomarkers

Clinical informatics – the use of data from the electronic medical record (EMR) to inform the development and improvement of evidence-based medicine, the dissemination and implementation of health outcomes research, and translational research initiatives – can facilitate the validation and translation of biomarkers, said Julie Lynch, PhD, RN, MBA, at [ Read More ]


Understanding Molecular Subtypes Is Basis for Genomic Medicine in Prostate Cancer

Incorporating genomics into the practice of medicine requires demonstration of the ability of biomarkers to impact clinical decision making and ensuring that patients receive the best therapy based on genomic findings. Scott Tomlins, MD, PhD, reviewed efforts to realize genomic medicine into prostate cancer diagnosis and management at the second [ Read More ]


Practical Problems Must Be Overcome to Move Personalized Medicine Forward in Oncology

Incorporating personalized medicine into everyday oncology clinical practice will require new paradigms in an effort to match cancer patients with the best therapies and attempts to treat solid tumors at an earlier stage with targeted agents, said Razelle Kurzrock, MD, at the second annual Global Biomarkers Consortium conference. “In a [ Read More ]


Personalized Cancer Treatment: Combination Therapies May Be Key to Hitting Tumor Heterogeneity

Combinations of targeted therapies will be key to overcome resistance that occurs in tumor cells that leads to eventual failure of a single targeted agent, said Alex Adjei, MD, PhD, at the second annual Global Biomarkers Consortium conference. “Tumor heterogeneity is the predominant reason for therapeutic failure in cancer,” he [ Read More ]


Gene Expression Tests Using Bronchial, Nasal Epithelium Under Development for Early Detection of Lung Cancer

Diagnosing lung cancer by swabbing a patient’s nose may be possible in the not too distant future. Changes in nasal gene expression in patients with lung cancer have been found to correlate with changes in gene expression in the bronchus, opening the door to the possibility of nasal gene expression [ Read More ]


Bench to Bedside, Gene to Drug Discovery Defines New Era of Precision Medicine

The next decade in anticancer drug discovery promises to be a complicated era of attempts to further define and overcome tumor heterogeneity, cancer evolution, and drug resistance, said Paul Workman, PhD, DSc, at the second annual Global Biomarkers Consortium conference. Killing off multiple cancer cell populations early in the disease [ Read More ]


PMO Proudly Announces Dr Sanjiv S.Agarwala to Join Dr Al Benson as Co-Editor in Chief

Al B. Benson III, MD Dear Colleague, It is with great pleasure that I announce our newly appointed Co-Editor in Chief, Sanjiv S. Agarwala. Dr Agarwala joins me in this position to bring the oncology community the latest advances in our ability to personalize care for patients. Dr Agarwala is [ Read More ]