A study published in Nature Communications, showed that patients with advanced cancer who received precision medicine treatments had an increased chance of survival or longer periods without their disease progressing than those receiving standard therapies.
Researchers claimed that while next-generation sequencing can help identify novel cancer targets, being able to interpret molecular findings and accessing appropriate drugs or clinical trials can be difficult.
A team at UC San Diego Health established a multidisciplinary molecular tumour board (MTB) to advise treating physicians on course of care.
Researchers said, “Overall, our MTB experience suggests that greater degrees of matching tumours to drugs, including with customized N-of-one recommended combinations, was independently associated with better outcomes.”
The patient’s physician always made the final treatment decision with the MTB acting as an advisory board.
Over the course of the study, 62 per cent of the 429 patients that were evaluated by MTB were matched to at least one drug, and 20 per cent matched to all recommended drugs.
In 38 per cent of cases, the treating physician chose not to implement the board’s chosen strategy, and in turn opted for a standard therapy approach that may not have matched the patient’s genetic alterations, or had a minimal degree of matching.
The findings showed that patients who received the full regimen recommended by the MTB, had significantly improved progression-free survival, or overall survival, in comparison to those who received the physician’s choice of treatment.
“Our MTB successfully facilitated the interpretation of multiple testing modalities. Further clinical investigation is warranted in order to validate these findings, as well as to determine if there are matching score thresholds that determine the utility of precision therapies,” the team concluded.
To find out more about the study, click HERE.