Precision medicine and pancreatic cancer

Evidence shows patients benefit from molecular profiling

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MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. & MCLEAN, Va.—A study posted in late June by Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), Perthera Inc. and colleagues in the AACR journal Clinical Cancer Research was reportedly the first of its kind to provide evidence that precision medicine can be greatly beneficial for pancreatic cancer patients. According to the report findings, patients who underwent molecular profiling and were found to have an “actionable” alteration—and who then went on to receive a targeted, matched treatment—had significantly increased progression-free survival.
Pancreatic cancer is the world’s toughest cancer, with a five-year survival of just 9 percent. The disease is currently the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, but in just two years, pancreatic cancer is expected to surpass colorectal cancer to become the second.
“There has been a longstanding notion that precision medicine cannot benefit pancreatic cancer patients,” said Dr. Lynn Matrisian, chief science officer at PanCAN and an author on the study. “We now have to rethink that position, as this research exemplifies a changing tide in the way we should treat pancreatic cancer patients, ensuring molecular profiling is an integral part of their treatment journey.”
An overview of the study was conducted with PanCAN and included 640 reports created from 287 academic and community practices in 44 states, with 126 initiating treatments with report-listed therapy between 2014 and 2017. Among patients with highly “actionable” alterations, progression-free survival was a median of 4.1 months when patients received a matched, or targeted, therapy, compared to 1.9 months for patients who received an unmatched therapy. While this effect has yet to be observed for overall survival, these results further motivate investigator-initiated clinical trials that integrate molecular profiling.
All the molecular profiling was done through PanCAN’s Know Your Tumor program, in conjunction with Perthera Precision Medicine, a therapeutic intelligence company, and Perthera’s chief medical officer and lead author Dr. Michael Pishvaian. Through this program, patients and their healthcare providers receive a detailed report from Perthera of the genetic and protein changes present in their tumor and a list of treatment options that may align with their tumor’s characteristics, including clinical trials. The report is provided within weeks of a biopsy and is a result of years of cancer data mining and structuring from over 450 journals, websites and databases, plus the collection and structuring of the patient tumor’s genomic, proteomic and other molecular analyses and extensive medical history.
“We are extremely excited to report these findings to both the medical and patient communities and especially proud to have published real-world evidence that shows precision medicine helps patients improve their outcomes,” said Neal Koller, president and CEO of Perthera. “Though we are eager to expand upon our findings, it’s important to celebrate the lives that were impacted, and the improved health that was given to patients, because of this collaborative research effort.”
Perthera prides itself on being a leading healthcare artificial intelligence company advancing precision medicine through Perthera AI, its patent-pending “Therapeutic Intelligence Engine,” as well as its ICESA databases. Perthera Precision Medicine, both as a team and a technology, produce a report thath provides cancer patients with precisely matched therapeutic options ranked for the highest probability of best outcome. With the Perthera Report’s therapeutic recommendations, physicians can treat their patients with medications aimed at targeting the specific biomarkers associated with their patient’s unique cancer.

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