Dr. Tempero on Role of Molecular Profiling in Pancreatic Cancer

Margaret A. Tempero, MD
Published: Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019



Margaret A. Tempero, MD, director, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Pancreas Center, professor of medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Rombauer Family Distinguished Professor in Pancreas Cancer Clinical and Translational Science, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the role of molecular profiling in pancreatic cancer.

The importance of molecular profiling is starting to be better understood in the field. Recently, larotrectinib (Vitrakvi), an NTRK inhibitor, was FDA approved across all tumor types in patients who harbor NTRK fusions. It is important to look for these genetic alterations, says Tempero. Moreover, with the advent of more sophisticated genetic testing platforms, multiple genes can be analyzed at once. If the panel shows that the patient’s tumor is microsatellite instability–high, they can be treated with pembrolizumab (Keytruda).

In a tumor type like pancreatic cancer that has limited treatment options, molecular profiling becomes crucial in every patient, Tempero notes. As such, the entire community is becoming more inclined to do somatic molecular profiling as much as possible, she concludes.
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Margaret A. Tempero, MD, director, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Pancreas Center, professor of medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Rombauer Family Distinguished Professor in Pancreas Cancer Clinical and Translational Science, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the role of molecular profiling in pancreatic cancer.

The importance of molecular profiling is starting to be better understood in the field. Recently, larotrectinib (Vitrakvi), an NTRK inhibitor, was FDA approved across all tumor types in patients who harbor NTRK fusions. It is important to look for these genetic alterations, says Tempero. Moreover, with the advent of more sophisticated genetic testing platforms, multiple genes can be analyzed at once. If the panel shows that the patient’s tumor is microsatellite instability–high, they can be treated with pembrolizumab (Keytruda).

In a tumor type like pancreatic cancer that has limited treatment options, molecular profiling becomes crucial in every patient, Tempero notes. As such, the entire community is becoming more inclined to do somatic molecular profiling as much as possible, she concludes.

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