Dr. Narla on Advances Made With Precision Medicine in Oncology

Goutham Narla, MD, PhD, discusses advances made with precision medicine in oncology.

Goutham Narla, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine; chief of the Division of Genetic Medicine of the Department of Medicine; and associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Michigan, discusses advances made with precision medicine in oncology.

Many advances have been made in cancer genetics in recent years, including the identification of additional disease-causing variants, says Narla. Previous knowledge had been limited to the presence of BRCA1/2 mutations and some of the mismatch repair genes, but now other genes such as PALB2 and other genes in that family have been discovered, adds Narla. This information has resulted in the expansion of testing opportunities for patients with cancer.

Another exciting development is that some gene variants have been found to be predictive of response to therapy for patients whose tumors harbor certain mutations. This knowledge has changed the treatment of patients with cancer who have these variants, Narla concludes.