The findings are being presented as part of a poster presentation by members of the Rutgers Cancer Institute precision medicine team at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) which begins this weekend in New Orleans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71,500 women are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer each year in the United States, with 26,500 deaths from one of these diseases.
As part of an ongoing clinical trial at Rutgers Cancer Institute exploring rare and poor prognosis cancers, investigators sought to identify genomic alterations in 69 patients with gynecologic cancers that were not responding to standard care.
In collaboration with Foundation Medicine, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, tissue specimens were analyzed through Next Generation Sequencing technology. Study outcomes for 64 of the cases were available and showed an average 4.97 genomic alterations per tumor.
These mutations and abnormalities were reviewed by a panel of clinicians, scientists, statisticians, pathologists and other experts at Rutgers Cancer Institute, collectively known as a molecular tumor board.
As appropriate, either potential enrollment in a clinical trial, treatment with already-approved cancer therapies or treatment with therapies approved for other uses were considered and recommended to the treating physician.
Thirty-nine percent of those patients had those recommendations implemented and a response or clinical benefit was seen in 56 percent of these patients.
“Through genomic profiling, we’re identifying alterations that may not have otherwise been visible through standard laboratory testing. Coupled with a review of these results by experts on a molecular tumor board, the opportunity exists to identify novel therapies that would target specific abnormalities,” notes senior author of the work, Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD, associate director for translational science at Rutgers Cancer Institute and associate professor of medicine and pharmacology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The overall precision medicine initiative at Rutgers Cancer Institute is supported in part by a $10 million anonymous gift.
About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (www.cinj.org) is the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. As part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey is dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and to serving as an education resource for cancer prevention. Physician-scientists at Rutgers Cancer Institute engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice.
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