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The so-called universal CDx approved by the FDA can gauge alterations across multiple genes associated with response to three lung cancer treatments. 

While trials targeting actionable mutations are showing promise in some cancer cases, experts say such trials likely need to account for tumor heterogeneity.

Clinicians say they are using blood-based tests for patients who can't be biopsied as a way to get test results sooner, but implementing tests smartly and appropriately remains a challenge.

Some aspects of testing practice seem clear, while others present significant challenges for clinicians, according to discussions at the recent ASCO meeting.

Through prospective pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma testing, researchers saw germline mutations in new genes and in cases outside of current germline testing criteria.

The companies believe the database can facilitate outcomes research, improve variant interpretations, inform drug development efforts.

The agency hopes to gain data on the efficacy of BRAF targeted drugs used in sequence, and how physicians implement treatments compared to how the drugs are labelled.

There are now 100 sites in the US participating in the basket study, and soon trials with similar approaches will be available in Canada and 13 other countries.

Data presented at ASCO showing 76 percent of cancer patients responded to larotrectinib could lead to the availability of the first tissue-agnostic targeted drug.

The study compared five methods, including three based on Roche test kits and reagents, and suggested that a multiplexed test may be best to avoid false-negative results.

The study showed that targeted sequencing was feasible, identified many clinically relevant alterations, and directed effective targeted therapy in several cases.

The results confirmed that circulating mutations can be reliably detected and changed during treatment, and showed that they could be a valuable prognostic biomarker.

Repeat molecular analysis of a patient's cancer helped clinicians guide targeted therapies as drug resistance emerged and ebbed.

The test was approved for use with Iressa to determine those patients who would benefit by being treated with the drug. 

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