Caris Life Sciences®, based in Irving, Texas, is continuing to unwind the mysteries of tumor gene profiles. At the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium this week in San Francisco, California, Caris will present two new tumor profiling studies, adding to the ones presented recently at the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. Researchers from the American Institute for Diseases of the Prostate and the Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada used Caris Molecular Intelligence™, a technology produced by Caris that analyzes DNA and mRNA, along with fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and other traditional pathology techniques to study the intricacies of prostate and bladder cancer, respectively.
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“By combining IHC/ISH biomarker results with mutational analysis, we identified patient subgroups that may benefit from combining traditional chemotherapies and hormonal agents with novel targeted agents,” said Charles Myers, M.D., Director of the American Institute for Diseases of the Prostate. This would be possible because the profiling studies identified genetic alterations that are associated with other cancer types that already have established drug treatments. In the prostate cancer study, 98.5% of tumors presented with these similar mutations, indicating that patients may benefit from a combination of traditional anti-androgen therapies and an agent such as everolimus (available in clinical trials) that targets PTEN/PIK3CA mutations, which were found in 24% of tumors.
Such is the case in metastatic urothelial carcinoma: FISH, IHC, and DNA mutational analysis identified biomarker targets not previously known to be present in urothelial carcinoma. EGFR and HER2 mutations are normally individually uncommon, but the mutations found in the urothelial carcinoma study will open the door for clinical trial opportunities. “For patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma, the identification of additional treatment options through comprehensive tumor profiling is critically important, as no significant major drug advances have been made in this form of bladder cancer during the last 20 years,” said Nicholas J. Vogelzang, M.D., from the US Oncology Research and Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada. In fact, only six recommended therapies exist, but the biomarker analysis may add another 20 drugs to that short list. Advances such as Caris Molecular Intelligence continue to realize the vision of “personalized medicine.”