Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Pharma Outsourcing
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

A Roadblock to Personalized Cancer Care

Published: Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Experts call for more support for tumor biomarker tests; fixing a vicious cycle will lead to tests that better predict treatment success.

There’s a major roadblock to creating personalized cancer care.

Doctors need a way to target treatments to patients most likely to benefit and avoid treating those who will not. Tumor biomarker tests can help do this.

The problem, according to a new commentary paper, is that, unlike drugs or other therapies, cancer biomarker tests are undervalued by doctors and patients. The authors say that inconsistent regulatory rules, inadequate payment and underfunded tumor biomarker research has left us in a vicious cycle that prevents development and testing of reliable biomarker tests that could be used to personalize clinical care of patients with cancer.

“Right now biomarkers are not valued nearly to the extent that we see with therapeutics. But if a tumor biomarker test is being used to decide whether a patient should receive a certain treatment, then it is as critical for patient care as a therapeutic agent. A bad test is as dangerous as a bad drug,” says Daniel F. Hayes, M.D., clinical director of the breast oncology program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Hayes led a blue-ribbon panel of experts from universities, corporations, insurance and advocacy organizations to outline the issues in a commentary published today in Science Translational Medicine.

Tumor biomarker tests look at the genetic or molecular make-up of a tumor to determine whether the cancer is likely to progress, and if so, if it is likely to respond to treatment. If the test is good, it can help doctors decide when a patient can safely skip further therapy, or it can be used to direct which drug might be most likely to help. The result: “personalized medicine,” which means patients get treatments that benefit them specifically and they avoid treatments – including their costs and side effects – that are not likely to make a difference for them.

The regulatory process, the research funding, the reimbursement, even the standards for journal publications for tumor biomarker tests are all meager compared to the robust support for drug development, the authors say.

This creates a vicious cycle in which researchers and drug companies don’t invest in tumor biomarker research, tests are not fully evaluated in clinical trials, and tests with uncertain value in terms of predicting the success of treatment are published. This in turn means that few of these tests are included in evidence-based care guidelines, leaving health care professionals unsure of whether or how to use the test, and third-party payers unsure of how much to pay for them.

The authors outline five recommendations and suggest that all five must be addressed to break the vicious cycle:

1.    Reform regulatory review of tumor biomarker tests
2.    Increase reimbursement for tumor biomarker tests that are proven to help determine which therapies will or are working
3.    Increase investment for tumor biomarker research so it’s comparable to new drug research
4.    Increase the rigor for peer review of tumor biomarker publications
5.    Include only proven biomarker tests in evidence-based care guidelines

“These recommendations are not about creating more regulation; they are about creating an even playing field that allows tumor biomarker tests to be developed and proven clinically relevant. We want to stimulate innovation yet hold investigators and clinicians to the highest scientific standards – as we now do for therapeutics,” Hayes says. “We need to change the way we value tumor biomarkers in this country.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Gene Therapy Appears Safe to Regenerate Gum Tissue
University of Michigan researchers have developed a method of gene delivery that appears safe for regenerating tooth-supporting gum tissue.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Scientific News
What Makes a Good Scientist?
It’s the journey, not just the destination that counts as a scientist when conducting research.
Investigational Malaria Vaccine Protects Healthy U.S. Adults
Researchers at NIH have found that the malaria vaccine protected a small number of healthy, malaria-naïve adults in the U.S. from infection for more than one year after immunization.
AACR 2016: Cancer Immunotherapy and Beyond
At this year's meeting there was a palpable buzz around subjects ranging from microbiomics to the tumor microenvironment and cancer vaccines, big data to in vitro and in vivo modeling and drug delivery (to name just a few).
New Database for Sharing MS Clinical Trial Data
A new database containing nearly 2500 patient records from the placebo arms of nine multiple sclerosis (MS) clinical trials is now available for research by qualified investigators.
Study Finds Factors That May Influence Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness
Researchers at NIH have suggested that the long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited.
BMS’s Opdivo Clinical Trial Shows Promise
Safety profile of the combination regimen from CheckMate -069 was consistent with previously reported studies and adverse events were managed using established safety algorithms.
Treatment of Common Prostate Cancer
Researchers at UTSW have found that the prostate cancer treatments suppress immune response and may promote relapse.
Cancer Drug Could Treat Blood Vessel Deformities
A drug currently being trialled in cancer patients could also be used to treat an often incurable condition that can cause painful blood vessel overgrowths inside the skin.
Structure of Crucial Enzyme Identified
Researchers at UTSW have determined the atomic structure of an enzyme that plays an essential role in cell division and better treatment of cancer.
New Immunotherapy Trial for Type 1 Diabetes
The search for a treatment for Type 1 diabetes (T1D) - which affects over 400,000 people in the UK – will be stepped up with the start of a new phase one clinical trial at Guy’s Hospital in London.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!