Precision tumour assessments

“At least one target is hidden in plain sight: technology developed in the past decades can be used to characterise cancer cells and their associated normal cells at the molecular level.”

The expanded characterisation of tumour and surrounding cells has yielded tremendous new information to advance cancer treatment. As the USA takes on the three aims of improving cancer care, improving cancer outcomes, and making better investments in cancer care, at least one target is hidden in plain sight: technology developed in the past decades can be used to characterise cancer cells and their associated normal cells at the molecular level.

The use of these technologies can and must be increased to lead to new knowledge and the precise identification of matching targeted or immunotherapies to patients’ tumours.

The use of modern technologies to characterise the cancer cell and supporting cells in the tumour microenvironment is integral to understanding three key areas: identifying patients who are most likely to respond to a drug or treatment; identifying patients at risk for adverse reactions; and monitoring response to treatment, either to adjust dosing or to detect emerging resistance.