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Molecular tumor board helps in advanced cancer cases
Date:5/5/2014

With accelerating development of personalized cancer treatments matched to a patient's DNA sequencing, proponents say frontline physicians increasingly need help to maneuver through the complex genomic landscape to find the most effective, individualized therapy.

In a paper published in the May 5 online issue of The Oncologist, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center detail their experience evaluating 34 patients between December 2012 and June 2013 using a molecular tumor board a new type of advisory group comprised of multidisciplinary experts, including those in the fields of tumor genetics, basic science and bioinformatics.

"Next generation sequencing tools were used to profile patients' tumors," said Razelle Kurzrock, MD, director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. In the 34 cases examined, no two patients shared the same genomic abnormalities. "We found 74 genes with 123 aberrations involved in cancer growth. Technology is permitting us to look at the molecular level of tumors, but most physicians are not trained in advanced genomics. We need access to experts in fundamental molecular biology to translate the data."

The Moores Cancer Center's Molecular Tumor Board brought together medical, surgical and radiation therapy oncologists, biostatisticians, radiologists, pathologists, clinical geneticists, basic and translational science researchers, and bioinformatics and pathway analysis specialists to discuss the intricacies of tumor genetics and tailor a personalized treatment plan for patients with advanced cancer or who have exhausted standard therapies.

Of the 123 abnormalities found in the patients' genetic cancer profiles, 107 of these irregularities appeared only once. "Cancer can be different in every patient," said Barbara Parker, MD, Moores Cancer Center deputy director for Clinical Affairs. "Standard
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Contact: Scott LaFee
slafee@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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