Precision medicine trial 'first of its kind' to demonstrate improved patient outcomes

Tailoring medical treatments to the needs of specific patients seems like a no-brainer for improving outcomes, but it's a reality that has eluded healthcare as it stands today, and has become the primary focus of the precision medicine movement. Researchers involved in a new clinical trial of cancer are touting the results of their study as being some of the first to demonstrably show a precision medicine-style approach is better for patients.

According to the results, which were presented Sept. 23 at the Molecular Analysis for Personalised Therapy conference in London, patients with advanced cancer who underwent gene mapping which informed tailored treatment had their tumors grow back thirty percent more slowly than compared to previous therapies those same patients received.

"This is the first precision medicine trial to show that analyzing a person's DNA improves treatment options for patients with late stage cancer," Jean Charles Soria, MD, PhD, principal investigator on the trial with the Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus in Paris, said in a statement. "And these results are particularly exciting because in some cases we were testing experimental drugs, and found that we could slow down the growth of tumors in around one in five patients with advanced cancer."

Out of 1110 patients, the 199 who had their genes mapped had a variety of types of cancer, including lung, breast, head and stomach, among others. Their cancers were delayed in returning by as much as 32 months, according to the researchers.

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