To Test or Not to Test?

Posted by Pranav Srivastava on Thu, Oct 01, 2015

Testing beyond BRCA in breast and ovarian cancers was the focus of a recent article in JAMA Oncology. The conclusion was:

In a clinically representative cohort, multigene panel testing for HBOC risk assessment yielded findings likely to change clinical management for substantially more patients than does BRCA1/2 testing alone. Multigene testing in this setting is likely to alter near-term cancer risk assessment and management recommendations for mutation-affected individuals across a broad spectrum of cancer predisposition genes.


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What’s in Your Basket?

Posted by Pranav Srivastava on Mon, Sep 21, 2015

“Basket Study” Targets Mutation Not Cancer Type, Widens Patient Drug Trial Access

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) just published results in the New England Journal of Medicine for a basket study for an early Phase II study, led by MSK Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer José Baselga, that looked at the effect of vemurafenib (Zelboraf) in multiple nonmelanoma BRAFV600-mutated cancers in 122 patients from 23 centers around the world. What is unique about this design is it focused on mutation rather than histology. This makes it far more likely to pick up activity in a host of tumors with this mutation more quickly than a traditional trial schema, where each tumor and mutation would be tested individually.


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Oncology: Making Personalized Medicine Personal

Posted by Jinan Martini on Mon, Aug 03, 2015

My focus, for the most part, has been and continues to be on consumer and patient marketing. So when I hear a term like “personalized medicine,” I think “personalized patient experience.” However, in the current vernacular of specialty drugs, and specifically oncology, “personalized” is a clinical description that essentially means targeted to one’s genomic makeup. These clinical advancements in genetically targeted therapies are nothing short of incredible. However, the rate of these clinical advancements is outpacing the development of individualized services to support how patients feel physically and emotionally, and how patients navigate through treatment and their own lives. When it comes to cancer, many pharmaceutical manufacturers and the medical community have lagged in providing the kind of beyond-the-pill-or-product services that help patients through their entire personal journey, but given the current oncology environment, focusing more on supporting patients’ specific needs will be increasingly advantageous.


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