Barcelona, Spain (UroToday.com) To introduce this educational session on precision medicine, Dr. Rubin highlighted the multifaceted nature of precision medicine. Precision medicine efforts must incorporate “big data” such as genomic data, which can consist of DNA and RNA-derived information from a large population, small data such as electronic health records and patient reported data, and the various stakeholders in this process including patients and their families, researchers, and healthcare providers. Genomic tumor boards consisting of researchers and healthcare providers can help advise and enhance clinical care using valuable tools that have been designed such as the cBioPortal. Dr. Rubin provided examples of how institutions he has been involved in have set up their genomic tumor boards, and emphasized the need for personalized cancer models such as patient-derived tumor organoids in order to inform our understanding of detected tumor genomic features.
Dr. Rubin also highlighted the challenges faced today by genomic tumor boards and the data generated by genomic studies. These challenges include: (1) Do we have enough information to propose a new trial based on the findings, (2) Are nominated trials even feasible, (3) How do we acquire all the necessary expertise to make these trial and treatment decisions, and (4) How do smaller institutions that may be more resource-limited handle both the generated data and trial decision making. Regardless, genomic tumor boards are reflective of a new reality in cancer medicine, which is that integrating genomic information into the care of patients is an essential part of providing the best care possible.
Presented by: Mark Rubin, MD, Professor, and Director of the Department of Biomedical Research, University of Bern, Switzerland
Written by: Alok Tewari, MD, PhD, Medical Oncology Fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, at the 2019 European Society for Medical Oncology annual meeting, ESMO 2019 #ESMO19, 27 Sept – 1 Oct 2019 in Barcelona, Spain