Navigation Links
Genetic sequencing could help match patients with biomarker-driven cancer trials, treatments
Date:11/30/2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich. As cancer researchers continue to identify genetic mutations driving different cancer subtypes, they are also creating a catalog of possible targets for new treatments.

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Michigan Center for Translational Pathology (MCTP) recently completed a pilot study aimed at solving the practical challenges involved in quickly and systematically sequencing genetic material from patients with advanced or treatment-resistant cancer in order to match them with existing clinical trials based on the biomarkers identified.

"We're talking about more than just examining a few genes where mutations are known to occur, or even about a hundred genes," says co-lead investigator Dan Robinson, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow at MCTP. "We're talking about the ability to sequence more than 20,000 genes and look not just for individual genetic mutations, but at combinations of mutations."

The exploratory study, known as the Michigan Oncology Sequencing Project (MI-ONCOSEQ), found that identifying a patient's "mutational landscape" provides a promising approach for identifying which trials may best help a patient, the researchers say. Their findings were published today in Science Translational Medicine.

"High-throughput sequencing harnesses the latest technological advances to process millions of pieces of genetic information, allowing us to map a cancer's genetic aberrations," says co-lead investigator Sameek Roychowdhury, M.D., Ph.D., a clinical lecturer in hematology and oncology at the U-M Medical School. "Using this technique to identify biomarker-driven treatment options really opens the door for personalized oncology, but it also presents a number of logistical challenges, chief among them making the results available cost-effectively and in a clinically relevant timeframe."

"A decade or two ago, this type of sequencing would have cost many millions or even billions of dollars, but the technology is advancing so rapidly, we're now talking in terms of thousands which makes widespread use a real possibility," he adds.

Cancer can arise from a variety of genetic alterations including rearrangements, additions, deletions and substitutions within the genetic code.

"Different sequencing processes are required to find different types of alterations," Roychowdhury says. "But to be cost-effective, there must be a balancing act between a broad analysis and a deep analysis."

The study began by testing the researchers' sequencing strategy on prostate cancer tumors that had been grown in mice. Later, two patients were enrolled in a clinical pilot: one with colorectal cancer and one with melanoma. Potential clinical trials were identified for both patients.

However, the researchers caution, not all patients will match an existing study. Some patients with a given mutation may be excluded because they have, for example, prostate cancer, but a trial is only enrolling breast cancer patients. The researchers believe that this approach also provides an opportunity to approach clinical trials in a new way, moving from a tissue-specific focus toward genetic aberrations shared across cancer types.

Still, enrolling in a trial does not guarantee a patient will benefit from the treatment, the researchers caution.

Hurdles to widespread implementation include the need for a multidisciplinary Sequencing Tumor Board to interpret the complex sequencing results, management of the necessary computational resources, and a process for dealing with incidental genetic findings revealed by the sequencing such as a risk for hemochromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes the body to absorb too much iron.

Achieving a four-week turnaround time for results is important because that's how long patients are usually required to wait for unsuccessful treatments to leave their systems before starting a clinical trial.

"Once some of the practical and technological hurdles are cleared, we envision an array of mutation and pathway-based trials for available targeted therapies, with eligibility based on molecular assessment," says senior investigator Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., director of MCTP, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and S.P. Hicks Professor of Pathology at the U-M Medical School. "Moreover, if patients are treated with matching targeted therapies and develop secondary resistance, it could also help reveal the mechanisms of resistance and inform future trials for combination therapies."

Chinnaiyan says the work was made possible only by collaboration and teamwork. U-M physicians Moshe Talpaz, M.D., Stephen Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., and Kenneth Pienta, M.D. played key roles in the clinical implementation of this exploratory protocol, he notes.

Researchers hope this type of sequencing will become more widely available over the next 5 to 10 years. Cancer patients are encouraged to speak to their doctors about clinical trial opportunities.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ian Demsky
idemsky@umich.edu
735-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Certain genetic profiles associated with recurrence-free survival for non-small cell lung cancer
2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Kids May Have Genetic Cause
3. Epigenetic signals differ across alleles
4. Study reveals genetic link between mammographic density and breast cancer
5. Genetic Risk Score Doesnt Spot Heart Trouble in Women
6. Penn researchers find genetic link to leukemias with an unknown origin
7. Scientists Spot Genetic Fingerprints of Individual Cancers
8. Genetic health risks in children of assisted reproductive technology
9. Genetic Mutation Linked to Prostate Cancer in Blacks
10. Protecting the brain from of a deadly genetic disease
11. Protecting the brain from a deadly genetic disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of ... award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , ... Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its first-ever “Issue ... conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding work of ... and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we recognize the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Issue 52" report to their offering. ... treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. ... base that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective ... serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: