Genomic analysis yields abnormalities associated with targeted treatments in rare and poor prognosis cancers

April 9, 2014

Research from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) shows genomic profiling identifies genomic alterations in tumors that can be associated with targeted therapies in the treatment of rare and poor prognosis cancers. Preliminary results from the first cohort of a clinical trial being conducted at CINJ are being presented as part of an abstract presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which is concluding today. This work was performed in collaboration with Foundation Medicine, Inc., of Cambridge, MA.

Analyzing tumors through clinical grade next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has been useful in identifying genetic abnormalities in tumors that may make them vulnerable to molecularly targeted cancer treatment. Genomic analysis typically is conducted on more common cancers like breast and prostate, for which numerous therapy options already exist. Through the precision medicine initiative at the Cancer Institute, a clinical trial examined tumors of patients with rare or poor prognosis cancers. Tissue specimens from 92 patients were analyzed using Foundation Medicine’s FoundationOne.

In 93% of the cases, at least one genomic alteration was found. The average number of alterations identified was 3.6. The majority of cases had mutations for which there were targeted therapies or clinical trials potentially available as assessed by a panel of clinicians, scientists, statisticians, pathologists, and other experts at the Cancer Institute, collectively known as a molecular tumor board. Along with their genomic profile, a clinical case history of each patient was reviewed as part of the overall assessment. As appropriate, either potential enrollment in a clinical trial, treatment with already-approved cancer therapies, or treatment with therapies approved for other uses was considered. Learn more about Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

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