Guardant Health Database Reveals Potential of Targeted Therapy Combinations to Treat Advanced Lung Cancer
(7 months ago)
REDWOOD CITY, Calif: Research led by scientists at UC San Francisco and the Francis Crick Institute in London has used Guardant Health's database of comprehensive liquid biopsy results to demonstrate that combinations of targeted therapies should be studied in the treatment of certain advanced lung cancers.
The findings, published in Nature Genetics, suggest that physicians may need to reevaluate the current practice of selecting treatment based on the detection of single genomic biomarkers. Instead, a treatment "cocktail" may elicit a better response in patients whose disease has multiple genomic drivers.
"This research is an exciting example of how comprehensive liquid biopsy and Guardant Health's large database of cancer genomics can accelerate the pace of breakthroughs in cancer," said Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant Health Co-Founder and CEO. "This first deep-dive into our database of more than 50,000 genomic tumor profiles has yielded provocative results that point to a promising future for combination targeted therapies."
Targeted therapies have led to a major shift in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Drugs that target alterations in certain genes such as EGFR, ALK, ROS-1, and BRAF are often more effective and less toxic than standard chemotherapy. Unfortunately, these drugs don't work for every patient. And even when they do, the tumors eventually become resistant to these targeted therapies and begin to progress.
"Treating advanced lung cancer based on a single biomarker may not be enough," said Rick Lanman, MD, Guardant Health's Chief Medical Officer and one of the authors of the study. "This study suggests that combinations of targeted therapies may soon play a prominent role in lung cancer."
Researchers from Guardant Health, UCSF, Stanford University, the Francis Crick Institute, UC San Diego, and UC Davis, have shed light on a new explanation for why that happens: lung cancers may not be driven to grow by an alteration in a single gene, but instead by the interaction of several alterations in a group of genes.
Among the experiments detailed in the study, researchers looked at a cohort of 1,150 patients in which the Guardant360 assay detected alterations in the EGFR gene. Compared to a similar cohort of patients in whom no EGFR mutations were detected, the researchers found significantly higher co-occurrences of alterations in certain other genes.