Precision Medicine in cancer: role of biomarkers
We are facing a new generation of cancer treatments that will mark a before and after, as different Oncology experts have defined in different meetings in recent years. These drugs, immunotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, and CAR-T therapies, are largely possible to a tool that has become the mainstay of Precision Medicine: the biomarkers.
“Today, they represent additional information in treatment decision-making, to the point that the diagnosis is not complete until certain biomarkers have been analyzed because it is known that they can change the way we treat tumors.” explains to Consalud.es the Dr. Rodrigo Sánchez-Bayona, scientific secretary of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) and medical oncologist at the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre in Madrid.
“They help select which patients can benefit the most from a treatment and also which ones cannot, thus avoiding unnecessary waste of time and resources”
In recent years, the incorporation of these mutations into research for the development of new treatments is already “of vital importance”. “They help to select which patients can benefit more from a treatment and, also, which ones cannot, what Avoid unnecessary waste of time and resources. says Dr. Sánchez Bayona.
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An important advance is being made in knowing in detail, with your name and surname, the different types of tumors. We currently have biomarkers for about 30 types of cancer, they either provide information on the best or worst prognosis of the disease, either allow determine the probability of response to a treatment.
It is common to see different studies that have found new biomarkers, such as a group of mutations that contribute to the progression of about 10% of human cancers and can be used to predict patient survival, as researchers from the University of California pointed out in research published in the journal ‘Nature’. Or the discovery of the University of Santiago de Compostela of new biomarkers for the detection of colorectal and head and neck cancer.
Currently, 20-25% of tumors are found without a clear biomarker, examples of this are sarcomas or brain tumors.
The finding of a catalog of 166 prognostic biomarkers, generated by analyzing long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), little studied in cancer research, including one that is highly effective in classifying gliomas (brain cancers) as low or high risk, Ontario researchers wrote. Institute for Cancer Research, has also been great news. “Much progress has been made mainly in the most frequent tumors such as breast, lung, prostate and colorectal, “indicates Dr. Rodrigo Sánchez-Bayona. In this sense, biomarkers have been found that predict the response to immunotherapy, something that The approach to tumors such as lung cancer has changed, which has currently doubled its survival to two years and which has become the most emblematic case of current Precision Medicine.
However, currently 20-25% of tumors are found without a clear biomarker, Examples of this are sarcomas or brain tumors, says Dr. Sánchez Bayona. Research must continue to respond to those cancers that still do not have this essential tool to be addressed with Precision Medicine. “Researching in biomarkers is finding a best selection of treatment for each patient”. in the words of Dr. Sánchez Bayona.
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