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Molecular 'portraits' of tumours match patients with trials in everyday clinical practice
Date:11/8/2012

Researchers in France are taking advantage of the progress in genetic and molecular profiling to analyse the make-up of individual cancer patients' tumours and, using this information, assign them to particular treatments and phase I clinical trials -- an approach that could become part of everyday clinical practice.

In research presented at the 24th EORTC-NCI-AACR [1] Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Dublin, Ireland, today [2], Dr Christophe Massard, a medical oncologist and senior consultant in the early drug development unit at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, describes how he and his colleagues have successfully incorporated "molecular triaging" into their phase I clinical trial unit, with results of patients' molecular analyses being made available within three weeks of a sample being taken.

"Advances in our ability to characterise the genomic changes that drive an individual patient's tumour have led to successes in phase I trials that select patients on the basis of the molecular make-up of their tumours," said Dr Massard. "So we set up a prospective molecular triage trial in which fresh tumour biopsies were taken from patients with advanced cancer referred to our phase I unit. The study aims at offering patients a molecular portrait of their tumour. This allows us to rationally direct those patients to the relevant phase I trial, i.e. the one with an anti-cancer drug targeting the tumour's molecular driver that has been identified by the analysis."

The trial is called MOSCATO 01 (MOlecular Screening for CAncer Treatment and Optimisation) and since October 2011 more than 120 patients have been enrolled. Tumour samples were taken with the aid of computerised tomography (CT) or ultra-sound guidance. The researchers analysed the biopsies using comparative genome hybridisation (CGH) to identify changes in the DNA of the tumour, such as mutations, gene deletions or amplifications, or other
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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