Tanios S. Bekaii-Saab, MD, FACP, discusses the need for umbrella trials in biliary tract cancer.
Tanios S. Bekaii-Saab, MD, FACP, medical oncologist, medical director, Cancer Clinical Research Office, vice chair and section chief, Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, discusses the need for umbrella trials in biliary tract cancer.
Implementing more umbrella trials may move research away from tumor-agnostic drug development and toward identifying disease-specific agents, says Bekaii-Saab. This approach is particularly important in rare tumor types such as biliary tract cancer.
Typically, research in biliary tract cancer is compiled from multiple trials of few patients or from basket trials where multiple tumor types are included, says Bekaii-Saab. This can lead to a dilution effect wherein biliary tract cancer-specific results are muddled among more prominent data. Moreover, actionable targets or effective agents may be missed as a result.
In umbrella trials, patients with a specific type of cancer can be matched with an appropriate targeted treatment according to their genomic profile without diluting the results, concludes Bekaii-Saab.