Michael Pishvaian, MD, PhD, director, Phase I Clinical Program, co-director of the Ruesch Center Pancreatic Cancer Program Medical Oncology, Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancer, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the use of precision medicine, specifically molecular profiling in patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.
The use of expanded testing, or what is more commonly called molecular profiling for patients with different GI cancers is a promising area of investigation. Physicians hope to use predictive biomarkers as an avenue that will direct them toward more individualized therapies.
The term “actionability” is often used to describe a biomarker that predicts full responsiveness, or at least a high responsiveness to a certain therapy. Sometimes that therapy is approved and used in the cancer that is being treated, and sometimes it’s approved and used in a different cancer. Ultimately, that biomarker seems to have promise in the cancer you’re treating.
Research is also investigating optimal methods of identification, specifically the identification of one biomarker versus several, as in broad molecular profiling.