Oncologists Differ Widely on Offering Cancer Gene Testing, Study Finds

“Many cancer researchers believe that cutting-edge advances in genomics will pave the way for personalized or “precision” cancer medicine for all patients in the near future. A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, however, suggest that not all doctors are ready to embrace tests that look for hundreds of DNA changes in patients’ tumor samples, while others plan to offer this type of cancer gene testing to most of their patients. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“The wide variation in attitudes was in part determined by physicians’ genomic confidence. Physicians who had a lot of confidence in their ability to use and explain genomic findings were more likely to want to prescribe the test and consider using test results when making treatment recommendations. Physicians with lower levels of genomic confidence were more reluctant to offer such testing. These findings are particularly interesting because the survey was carried out at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), which has a comprehensive research program that allows all consenting patients to have tumor testing that could find mutations and other DNA changes that drive their cancer. In some cases those genomic tumor profiles can provide targets for specific drugs known to be effective against particular mutations.”

Editor’s note: Cancer gene testing, or molecular testing, can be a powerful tool to help guide treatment decisions. Learn more about it.


Oncologists Differ Widely on Offering Cancer Gene Testing, Study Finds

“Many cancer researchers believe that cutting-edge advances in genomics will pave the way for personalized or “precision” cancer medicine for all patients in the near future. A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, however, suggest that not all doctors are ready to embrace tests that look for hundreds of DNA changes in patients’ tumor samples, while others plan to offer this type of cancer gene testing to most of their patients. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“The wide variation in attitudes was in part determined by physicians’ genomic confidence. Physicians who had a lot of confidence in their ability to use and explain genomic findings were more likely to want to prescribe the test and consider using test results when making treatment recommendations. Physicians with lower levels of genomic confidence were more reluctant to offer such testing. These findings are particularly interesting because the survey was carried out at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), which has a comprehensive research program that allows all consenting patients to have tumor testing that could find mutations and other DNA changes that drive their cancer. In some cases those genomic tumor profiles can provide targets for specific drugs known to be effective against particular mutations.”

Editor’s note: Cancer gene testing, or molecular testing, can be a powerful tool to help guide treatment decisions. Learn more about it.


Oncologists Differ Widely on Offering Cancer Gene Testing, Study Finds

“Many cancer researchers believe that cutting-edge advances in genomics will pave the way for personalized or “precision” cancer medicine for all patients in the near future. A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, however, suggest that not all doctors are ready to embrace tests that look for hundreds of DNA changes in patients’ tumor samples, while others plan to offer this type of cancer gene testing to most of their patients. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“The wide variation in attitudes was in part determined by physicians’ genomic confidence. Physicians who had a lot of confidence in their ability to use and explain genomic findings were more likely to want to prescribe the test and consider using test results when making treatment recommendations. Physicians with lower levels of genomic confidence were more reluctant to offer such testing. These findings are particularly interesting because the survey was carried out at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), which has a comprehensive research program that allows all consenting patients to have tumor testing that could find mutations and other DNA changes that drive their cancer. In some cases those genomic tumor profiles can provide targets for specific drugs known to be effective against particular mutations.”

Editor’s note: Cancer gene testing, or molecular testing, can be a powerful tool to help guide treatment decisions. Learn more about it.


Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer, Study Argues

“Assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient’s cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways, a new study indicates. “This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually,” said the lead author. “The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy.”


Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer, Study Argues

“Assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient’s cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways, a new study indicates. “This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually,” said the lead author. “The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy.”


Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer, Study Argues

“Assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient’s cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways, a new study indicates. “This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually,” said the lead author. “The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy.”


Emerging Landscape of Oncogenic Signatures Across Human Cancers

“Cancer therapy is challenged by the diversity of molecular implementations of oncogenic processes and by the resulting variation in therapeutic responses. Projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) provide molecular tumor maps in unprecedented detail. The interpretation of these maps remains a major challenge. Here we distilled thousands of genetic and epigenetic features altered in cancers to ~500 selected functional events (SFEs). Using this simplified description, we derived a hierarchical classification of 3,299 TCGA tumors from 12 cancer types. The top classes are dominated by either mutations (M class) or copy number changes (C class). This distinction is clearest at the extremes of genomic instability, indicating the presence of different oncogenic processes. The full hierarchy shows functional event patterns characteristic of multiple cross-tissue groups of tumors, termed oncogenic signature classes. Targetable functional events in a tumor class are suggestive of class-specific combination therapy. These results may assist in the definition of clinical trials to match actionable oncogenic signatures with personalized therapies. Chris Sander and colleagues have extracted significant functional events from 12 tumor types.”


Emerging Landscape of Oncogenic Signatures Across Human Cancers

“Cancer therapy is challenged by the diversity of molecular implementations of oncogenic processes and by the resulting variation in therapeutic responses. Projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) provide molecular tumor maps in unprecedented detail. The interpretation of these maps remains a major challenge. Here we distilled thousands of genetic and epigenetic features altered in cancers to ~500 selected functional events (SFEs). Using this simplified description, we derived a hierarchical classification of 3,299 TCGA tumors from 12 cancer types. The top classes are dominated by either mutations (M class) or copy number changes (C class). This distinction is clearest at the extremes of genomic instability, indicating the presence of different oncogenic processes. The full hierarchy shows functional event patterns characteristic of multiple cross-tissue groups of tumors, termed oncogenic signature classes. Targetable functional events in a tumor class are suggestive of class-specific combination therapy. These results may assist in the definition of clinical trials to match actionable oncogenic signatures with personalized therapies. Chris Sander and colleagues have extracted significant functional events from 12 tumor types.”


Emerging Landscape of Oncogenic Signatures Across Human Cancers

“Cancer therapy is challenged by the diversity of molecular implementations of oncogenic processes and by the resulting variation in therapeutic responses. Projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) provide molecular tumor maps in unprecedented detail. The interpretation of these maps remains a major challenge. Here we distilled thousands of genetic and epigenetic features altered in cancers to ~500 selected functional events (SFEs). Using this simplified description, we derived a hierarchical classification of 3,299 TCGA tumors from 12 cancer types. The top classes are dominated by either mutations (M class) or copy number changes (C class). This distinction is clearest at the extremes of genomic instability, indicating the presence of different oncogenic processes. The full hierarchy shows functional event patterns characteristic of multiple cross-tissue groups of tumors, termed oncogenic signature classes. Targetable functional events in a tumor class are suggestive of class-specific combination therapy. These results may assist in the definition of clinical trials to match actionable oncogenic signatures with personalized therapies. Chris Sander and colleagues have extracted significant functional events from 12 tumor types.”