May was a busy month for pancreatic cancer precision medicine developments.
Every pancreatic tumor is different. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network strongly recommends molecular profiling of your tumor to help determine the best treatment options. And we support that recommendation with our Know Your Tumor® precision medicine service, provided in partnership with Perthera, which gives eligible pancreatic cancer patients and their oncologists information about the biology of their tumor through molecular profiling.
Several developments in May have reinforced this stance and the benefits of services like Know Your Tumor.
Large-scale Study Shows Benefit of Molecular Profiling
A study published in the journal Nature Medicine found that molecular profiling is feasible and can provide clinically meaningful data about each patient’s tumor. The study describing molecular profiling of 10,000 patients with advanced cancer, including nearly 500 pancreatic cancer patients, validates our Know Your Tumor approach.
Rare but Targetable Genetic Change Discovered in Pancreatic Cancer Patients
A paper published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network reported an unusual but targetable genetic change detected in the tumors of five pancreatic cancer patients, including one identified through Know Your Tumor.
FDA Approval of Molecularly Targeted Drug for All Solid Tumors
For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a cancer drug based only on molecular characteristics of the patient’s tumor – and not on the organ site. The presence of the molecular alteration, known as microsatellite instability, is assessed in eligible pancreatic cancer patients through Know Your Tumor.
A treatment that works well for one person may not work as well for someone else. Knowing the mutations and other molecular alterations in a specific tumor will help patients and their healthcare team select treatment options, including clinical trials, that are likely to work best and may not have been considered otherwise. Some doctors and treatment centers lack the resources to perform molecular profiling. However, Know Your Tumor helps pancreatic cancer patients across the country access this information. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network fully covers the cost of services provided by Perthera, our trusted partner. Perthera can help navigate insurance challenges and provide information on financial assistance programs to cover the molecular profiling should issues arise.
For more information about Know Your Tumor, clinical trials and other resources related to pancreatic cancer, please contact PanCAN Patient Services.