Growing Participation in Novartis' Signature Program Bodes Well for Novel PGx Signal Finding Approach

The gist: The Signature Program lets people with different kinds of cancer across the U.S. access new, promising drugs that are still in the testing phase (i.e. they cannot yet be simply prescribed by oncologists). The program matches patients to different treatments based on the distinct genetic changes found in each patient’s tumor. According to this article, Signature is enrolling an “encouraging” amount of patients. And, it may be driving more oncologists at community healthcare settings to use molecular testing to help patients choose their best treatment options. Learn more about Signature at our Need to Know blog.

“Participation in Novartis’ biomarker based signal-finding trials, known as the Signature Program, is progressing at an encouraging pace, according to researchers involved in the effort.

“Novartis last year launched the Signature Program, a drug trial series in which patients are enrolled into mutation-specific study protocols that are tissue agnostic. Currently, cancer drugs are studied and approved according to a specific tumor site or histology (ie. breast cancer, lung cancer, etc). However, with advances in genomic knowledge, life sciences experts have often discussed future scenarios where therapies will be studied in and approved for the specific molecular pathways they interrogate. Novartis is taking the first step toward exploring such a vision through the Signature Program.”

Novartis Revolutionizes Clinical Trials for Targeted Cancer Drugs

Someone had to do it; now it looks like Novartis may be the first. The pharma company’s new series of clinical trials, SIGNATURE (also known as, ‘bring the protocol to the patient,’ or  ‘P2P’), is recruiting patients with different cancers to receive investigational targeted drugs selected to match the distinct genetic changes found in each patient’s tumor. Continue reading…

Powerful Patients: Highlights and Takeaways from the 2014 Personalized Medicine World Conference

Every year, scientists, doctors, and representatives from pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and technology companies gather in Silicon Valley to talk shop at the Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC). For 2 days, they discuss the triumphs and challenges of diagnosing and treating diseases based on patients’ distinct genetic characteristics.

This year, the PMWC status quo was interrupted by a not-so-unlikely guest: the patient. Cancer Commons joined the event’s organizers to cohost a series of informative presentations for patients and advocates, delivered by doctors and researchers, as well as patients and advocates themselves. Continue reading…