Dr Fabrice Andre from the Department of Medical Oncology at Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France, who was not involved in the research, said the study has two major impacts for clinical research.
First, he said, it suggests that next generation sequencing can be applied in the daily practice using archival samples. This opens new avenues for the development of personalised medicine trials. Second, by discovering new genomic segments, this study will certainly lead to the development of new biomarker-driven trials.
"This is a pioneering study in the field of personalised therapy for breast cancer since it shows for the first time that next generation sequencing can be applied to 'real-life' samples of patients with breast cancer. Until now, most of the data from next generation sequencing have been obtained with frozen tissue specifically for this purpose," Dr Andre said.
"Interestingly, this study, done in patients who have relapsed, shows an increased frequency of mutations in important genes like ESR1, IGF1R. This could lead to the development of new trials testing compounds against these genomic segments," Dr Andre said.
Following this study, prospective trials are needed to test whether the use of genomics could improve outcomes for patients, he said. "Also, we still need a comprehensive analysis of metastatic tissue in order to better develop drugs and understand the metastatic phenomenon. These two purposes will be addressed in the large pan-European effort called PRISM and led by Breast International Group (BIG)."
|Contact: Vanessa Pavinato|
European Society for Medical Oncology