-> Biomarker testing

Integrative Cancer Science • Global Impact • Individualized Patient Care: Highlights of the AACR 2019 Annual Meeting

I have a huge soft spot for the annual AACR meeting. Back in my graduate school days, the annual AACR meeting was the largest global gathering of basic cancer researchers. With over 23,000 attendees this year, it still is—except that the meeting has evolved over the years to include more and more clinical research to answer the fundamental question: How can we truly build upon our knowledge of basic science to impact patient care? The 2019 annual meeting takes this question a step forward, as evident from this year’s meeting theme.

Webinar: Comprehensive Biomarker Testing in Advanced-Stage Lung Cancers

Since the discovery of the first epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation in lung cancer in 2004, targeted therapies and immunotherapies have become a major component of the treatment arsenal for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Biomarkers are features of a cancer that predict how it will respond to certain treatments. They help doctors select the most appropriate treatment for the cancer.

Two examples of biomarkers are:

Hope on the Horizon for KRAS-positive Lung Cancer Patients

A newly diagnosed patient with advanced-stage adenocarcinoma, a sub-type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), may have their biopsy tissue tested for known biomarkers. The oncologist requests biomarker testing to look for changes in cancer cells to help personalize the patient’s treatment. Patients that are positive for biomarkers such as PD-L1 and EGFR have seen a lot of progress in treatment options over the last five years. However, targeted treatments for the KRAS mutation haven’t yet arrived.

Driving Innovative Cancer Science to Patient Care―Highlights of AACR 2018

Driving Innovative Cancer Science to Patient Care was the name of this year’s April meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Chicago, and it was fitting―there were lots of exciting advances in targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and more that I am pleased to share with you in this blog.

Targeted Therapies

Progress in targeted therapies is continuing in two areas.

Getting Ahead of Inherited Lung Cancer

Zeynep H. Gümüş, PhDMany people with family histories of cancer are getting tested to identify their cancer risk and take action before it starts. For example, the actress Angelina Jolie, who inherited the BRCA1 gene and whose mother died of ovarian cancer, underwent two preventive surgeries to reduce her risk of breast and ovarian cancer, while patients with an increased risk of colon cancer often take a daily dose of aspirin to reduce their risk.