Dr. Goy Highlights Recent Advances in Oncology

Dr. Andre Goy from John Theurer Cancer Center Highlights Recent Advances in Oncology

Andre Goy, MD, MS, chairman, director, and chief of the Lymphoma Division at the John Theurer Cancer Center, explains that there are a lot of major advances happening in oncology at the moment and chooses three examples that represent major ways in which treating cancer is changing.

  1. Advances in small molecule therapy has evolved the way solid tumors are treated. There are numerous examples of small molecule therapeutics in solid tumors that were approved by the FDA in 2011; including the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib and the immuntherapy ipilimumab for melanoma and the ALK-mutation targeted therapy crizotinib for lung cancer. These agents are helping patients with metastatic disease who are in a palliative situation to achieve a better prognosis.
  2. The B-cell receptor signaling pathway has an increased importance in lymphoma. The pathway has been targeted for a while because of its implication in a number of lymphomas. Three molecules have been discovered that affect the pathway, and they appear to show a lot of activity in CLL indolent lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma.
  3. There have been advances in the technology used to assess the genetic differences between tumors. With newer technology, tumors can be characterized with sort of a “molecule ID card” within one type of cancer. The technology is becoming less expensive and therefore more feasible, and hopefully will be used more broadly used in the future.
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