Healthcare Industry News:  HER2 

Diagnostics Oncology

 News Release - March 27, 2008

Oncology Researcher Forecasts Increased Use of Predictive Medicine at NCCN Conference

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--The 21st century will be a time of personalized care for patients with breast cancer where tools such as biomarkers, multi-gene assays and single-gene assays will help clinicians individualize treatment, according to Peter Ravdin, M.D., Ph.D presenting at the NCCN 13th Annual Conference. However, he cautioned, further validation is still necessary to confirm some of the predictive capacities of these tests.

Dr. Ravdin, a research professor in biostatistics at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, explained that, with increasing knowledge of the molecular characteristics of different tumor types in breast cancer, it has now possible to select therapy based on hormone receptor status, HER2 expression and genetic markers. As a result, certain high-risk patients who may benefit from it can be treated aggressively with adjuvant chemotherapy, while low- to intermediate-risk patients may be spared the toxicity and added physical strain of such aggressive treatment. Clinician understanding of these characteristics offers the potential to select therapies based on the individual patient’s risk profile.

Dr. Ravdin predicted that evidence based on large, prospectively done metaanalyses that will soon address the question of the use of single gene assays like HER2 and topoisomerase II. “In this new era, we will be using multi-gene assays and, perhaps, some of the single gene assays. Guidelines are backing such use already. Some uses are well-supported while others are awaiting strong validation,” he said.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives.

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The NCCN Member Institutions are: City of Hope, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Richard J. Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/University of Tennessee Cancer Institute, Memphis, TN; Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; UNMC Eppley Cancer Center at The Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE; The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN.

Source: National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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