Genomic Profiling May Lead to Targeted Therapy for Hard-to-Treat Cancers

Clinical benefit of 3 to 8 months found in some patients who received drugs that targeted tumors in the P13K/AKT/mTOR pathway.

Genomic profiling has shown that difficult-to-treat cancer tumors with alterations in a signaling pathway could respond to targeted therapy.

It’s common for genomic alterations that affect the P13K/AKT/mTOR pathway to be found in different cancer types, but researchers from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey wanted to determine how genomic profiling could be used in clinical care to help identify alterations that affect the pathway.

During the study, researchers examined and profiled 97 tumors with the P13K/AKT/mTOR pathway from a clinical trial on rare cancers and poor standard care responses. Thirty-three of these adult patients received therapy that targeted the P13K/AKT/mTOR pathway.

The results of the study found a clinical benefit of 3 to 8 months in 37% of patients who received drugs that targeted this pathway. Additionally, the improved patient response was not specific to any 1 type of tumor within the study, which included gynecologic, renal, sarcomas, pancreatic, melanoma, T cell lymphoma, bladder, and adrenal tumors.

These findings will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

“We are re-defining cancer classification,” said senior investigator and Precision Medicine Director, Lorna Rodriguez, MD, PhD. “Instead of focusing on where the cancer first originated, we now have an ability to drill down and further examine and identify potentially actionable genomic features within the tumor. This not only enables clinicians to rapidly employ tailored treatment strategies, but also provides for the development of future therapies in the form of new clinical trials.”