Maurie Markman, MD, president of Medicine and Science, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, editor-in-chief, OncologyLive, and 2018 Giant of Cancer Care for Gynecological Cancers, discusses the concept of precision medicine in gynecologic cancers.
Maurie Markman, MD, president of Medicine and Science, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, editor-in-chief, OncologyLive, and 2018 Giant of Cancer Care® for Gynecological Cancers, discusses the value of precision medicine in gynecologic cancers.
The goal of the precision medicine approach is to be able to determine in advance which patients will or will not benefit from available therapies, Markman says. Ideally, physicians would be able to tell a patient that a specific treatment option will have somewhere close to a 99% probability benefit. On the other hand, telling a patient that a drug has a 0% probability benefit is just as important.
While the field of gynecologic cancer has made significant advances in recent years, Markman adds that in reality, community oncologists are still far from the ideal goal of precision medicine. Mainly, they have to decide what makes a drug clinically meaningful—will it work for 6 months, 6 years, or 6 decades?
At its highest level, precision medicine holds tremendous value from an economic sense, Markman concludes. Giving a patient therapy that is almost guaranteed to be effective—or not giving therapy that is guaranteed to fail—saves the patients, payers, and physicians time and money.