Can Liquid Biopsies and Tumor Biomarkers Personalize Prostate Cancer Treatment?

Excerpt:

“Experimental, minimally invasive ‘liquid biopsy’ blood tests might soon help to personalize prostate cancer treatment by predicting androgen resistance and survival benefits from particular treatments, researchers announced at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held June 3–7 in Chicago.

“Liquid biopsies detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) or bits of tumor DNA (ctDNA). Not all tumors shed cells or DNA into a patient’s bloodstreams, but most do. And when they do, they can reveal a lot about themselves—including molecular signatures that can be targeted with specific treatments.

“Recent years have seen an explosion of candidate biomarkers for prostate cancer and other malignancies, including both liquid biopsies and tumor-sample gene panels. Most candidate biomarkers have been prognostic gene-mutation signatures that can estimate patient survival regardless of what treatment strategies are attempted. These prognostic tests can be useful for risk-stratifying patients who are participating in clinical studies, or in communicating prognosis to a patient and his loved ones.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


Black Women Less Likely to Pursue BRCA Testing and Cancer Risk Reduction Measures

Excerpt:

“Findings from a population-based study reported at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting revealed that young black women with breast cancer are much less likely to undergo testing for the BRCA gene than other women. Or, if they do carry a BRCA mutation, they are less likely to get a prophylactic mastectomy or salpingo-oophorectomy to reduce the risk of developing cancer.

“The research identified disparities in recipients of BRCA testing between non-Hispanic white women, Hispanic, and black women, with the latter being the least likely to undergo testing. Likewise, black women who were BRCA carriers were less likely to undergo risk-management practices compared with their white and Hispanic counterparts.

“ ‘We need to understand the reasons for these findings,’ said lead study author Tuya Pal, MD, a clinical geneticist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Ultimately, it’s the patient who must decide whether to have genetic testing and take prophylactic measures for risk management, Pal said.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


MammaPrint Genetic Test Can Reduce Use of Post-surgery Chemotherapy Among Early-stage Breast Cancer Patients

Excerpt:

“Among patients with early-stage breast cancer who were considered at high risk for disease recurrence based on clinical and biological criteria, the MammaPrint genetic test identified a large group of patients for whom five-year distant metastasis–free survival was equally good whether or not they received adjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy given post-surgery), according to results from the randomized, phase III microarray in node negative disease may avoid chemotherapy (MINDACT) clinical trial to be presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016, April 16-20.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


Loxo Cancer Drug Targets Gene Mutation With Durable Responses in Early Study

Excerpt:

“Precision medicine applied to cancer works like this: A sample of a patient’s tumor is analyzed on a molecular level, looking for genetic mutations in the cells known to cause cancer. Once identified, doctors can use drugs that target these specific genetic mutations to treat and hopefully kill the cancer cells.

“Cancers and the drugs that treat them are still identified largely by the affected organ — lung, breast, prostate, colon. If precision medicine takes hold in the future, cancer drugs will be developed and approved based on the genetic mutation they target, not the body part.

“Loxo Oncology (LOXO) and Ignyta (RXDX) are presenting new data at a medical meeting Sunday on drugs designed to target a mutation known as TRK gene fusions found in a cluster of different anatomically identified cancers.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


'Liquid Biopsy' Blood Test Detects Genetic Mutations in Common Form of Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“A simple blood test can rapidly and accurately detect mutations in two key genes in non-small cell lung tumors, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions report in a new study – demonstrating the test’s potential as a clinical tool for identifying patients who can benefit from drugs targeting those mutations.

“The , known as a , proved so reliable in the study that the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) this week became the first medical facility in the country to offer it to all patients with non-small cell  (NSCLC), either at the time of first diagnosis or of relapse following previous treatment.

“NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer, diagnosed in more than 200,000 people in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society. An estimated 30 percent of NSCLC patients have  in either of the genes included in the study, and can often be treated with targeted therapies. The study is being published online today by the journal JAMA Oncology.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


NCCN Adds New Gene Mutations to Consider in Women's Cancers

Excerpt:

“The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has added several new genetic mutations to be considered when determining risk-management strategies for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.

“The recent discovery that the genetic mutation PALB2 is associated with an aggressive form of breast cancer, as well as the realization that the newer ovarian cancer genes RAD51CRAD51D, and BRIP1 pose an added lifetime risk for ovarian cancer, should prompt physicians to discuss possible prophylactic procedures with patients who are found to carry these mutations, Tuya Pal, MD, from the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, said here at the NCCN 21st Annual Conference.

” ‘Within the past year, more data have emerged regarding these new genes for ovarian cancer risk. In the past, the NCCN recommendation to either recommend or consider risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy was limited to the presence of BRCA1BRCA2 and Lynch syndrome,’ Dr Pal told Medscape Medical News.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


Novel Entrectinib Trial Focuses on Gene Rearrangements Across Many Tumor Types

Excerpt:

“A decade ago, researchers believed molecular alterations occurred in only one or two cancer types. That way of thinking has changed, however, with the understanding that the same alterations, especially gene fusions, can occur across many different tumor types.

“As a result, researchers have designed a recently launched clinical study into entrectinib, a first-inclass inhibitor of tropomyosin receptor kinases (Trk), as a basket trial in which the drug can be evaluated simultaneously for activity against three gene alterations and multiple tumor types.

“STARTRK-2 (NCT02568267) is an open-label, phase II study in which patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors are assigned to different baskets according to whether their tumors harbor rearrangements in one of three key genes—NTRK1/2/3, ROS1, or ALK.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


UCSF Center Adds to Revolution of Care for BRCA Carriers

Excerpt:

“A new center at University of California, San Francisco, is designed to provide comprehensive and integrated care for patients with cancer who carry BRCA and other mutations.

“The Center for BRCA Research at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center joins Basser Center for BRCA in Philadelphia as the only facilities solely devoted to BRCA–related cancers.

“HemOnc Today spoke with Pamela N. Munster, MD, leader of the developmental therapeutics program and co-director of the Center for BRCA Research, about how the center came about, how she became involved, and what she hopes the center will do for BRCA mutation carriers and their families.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


ASCO Kicks off Ground-Breaking Clinical Trial to Learn from Use of Approved Targeted Cancer Therapies Matched to Tumor Genomics

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today announced it has begun recruiting patients with advanced cancer for its first-ever clinical trial, the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) study.  The trial will evaluate molecularly-targeted cancer drugs and collect data on clinical outcomes to help learn additional uses of these drugs outside of indications already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Patients enrolled in the study will have access to these cancer drugs at no cost.

“The trial will initially enroll participants at 30 clinical sites located in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Idaho and ASCO plans to expand to other areas of the country by the end of the year. Because of its unique design and purpose, TAPUR will include a broader patient population than in most clinical trials. Eligible participants include those who have an advanced solid tumor, multiple myeloma, or B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who are no longer benefitting from standard anti-cancer treatments or for whom no acceptable standard treatment is available.”