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Many solid tumors carry genetic changes targeted by existing compounds
Date:5/31/2013

ich ones if any are driving the cancers. "Even if we find a [change], we don't know if it's something that's driving the tumor to grow, or something that just happened along the way." The results from this study highlight the need for more research to understand the basic biology of tumors, he notes. "We need our colleagues in the basic sciences to continue investigating the genetic underpinnings of cancer, so we can determine which mutations are most important to target."

The sequenced data was reviewed by the patients' doctors, and in some cases, they prescribed new medications that targeted the identified mutations. Even though patients had all triedand failedtreatments in the past, some responded well to the new medicine, including one patient who has been on the treatment for at least 6 months.

A major limiting factor in sequencing all tumors, says Boland, is costthe list price of the sequencing test used in the study, from the company Foundation Medicine, is nearly $6,000. "We hope that, once sequencing tumors becomes the standard of care, it will be routinely covered by insurance."

Indeed, genetic sequencing is getting more affordable, notes Boland. Once tumor DNA can be analyzed readily, doctors learn more regarding how to use that information to guide treatment, and patients get more access to medicines that target these mutations which may be beneficial. It may become commonplace for most doctors to sequence tumors before deciding how to treat them. "The expectation is that, sometime soon, these kinds of tests will be done on a routine basis," predicts Boland. "We're not there yet."


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Contact: Diana Quattrone
diana.quattrone@fccc.edu
215-815-7828
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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