Cancer drugs are known to never be a 100% effective. No matter how good the Cancer drug is, some patients just won’t get any anti-cancer benefit at all. But others can get Exceptional responses. Finally a study by the National Cancer institute will investigate exactly why this happens. We needed something like this for a long time.
Prolonged responses and remissions.
The study will focus on cancer patients that achieved the best anti-cancer response and highest benefit from a particular drug. Patients that had an unexpected positive response to cancer therapy will also be investigated for valuable data. This is the entire reason for the study.
Identifying molecular features of tumors.
DNA and RNA tissue samples will be analyzed to expose mutations in the tumor that can explain the positive anti-cancer responses the selected cancer patients experienced. The Tissue samples will be isolated at Bio-specimen Core Resources and then shipped to the DNA sequencing and analysis center at Baylor College of Medicine. This sounds more complicated then it really is.
Cancer study will request data nationwide.
This cancer study will not start new clinical trials to gather fresh data. They will collect data that is already available. Data will be collected from various settings from standard therapy to pharmaceutical trials. Letters of solicitation are being sent to cancer centers and clinicians nationwide to aid in this effort. A lot of information can be analyzed this way.
Predicting Cancer response.
With the information collected from this cancer study, doctors can better predict which drugs will work for which patient. This data will help Cancer doctors find patterns in drug response. Avoiding the one drug for all approach we use now. Common Cancers might be also separated into sub-types based on different tumor types and mutations. The more information we can collect the better.
New Use for Failed Cancer Drugs.
Certain Cancer drugs that failed clinical trials because of a poor response rate might be reconsidered. Obviously even when a Cancer drug fails in a trial it still might have helped some patients. Those select few patients might have had a lifesaving complete response. A failed drug of the past can become a wonder drug for the future. This can happen for a certain type of tumor sub-type we had no idea even existed. That is the power of thinking out of the box.