Sequencing Cancer


Anchor lead: A big new project shows the benefit of genetic sequencing of cancers, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Should you have your cancer sequenced? A very large new federal study suggests the answer is more convincingly than ever, yes. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Nelson: They called it the match trial. They had gotten biopsies or tissues from almost 6000 cases and they sequenced almost all of them. They found some gene defects that matched a treatment choice in 37.6%. The most common gene defects they saw are ones that don’t have very good treatments for yet. It does suggest that DNA sequencing, there are enough reasons that guide treatment decisions that many if not most cancers will ultimately be sequenced.  :30

Nelson says common mutations or changes in DNA found in many cancers are being actively investigated as targets for new therapies, and predicts many more such agents becoming available soon. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.