Study Identifies Genetic Mutations in Tumors From 10,000 Patients with Metastatic Cancer

genetic mutations, cancer Image: National Cancer Institute

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) have reported the results of an initiative to characterize the genetic mutations in tumors from more than 10,000 patients with advanced cancer who were treated at the center.

The research team used a DNA sequencing test called MSK-IMPACT to characterize the genetic mutations in the patients’ tumors and used that information to match hundreds of patients to existing targeted therapies or to clinical trials. The researchers are continuing to follow up with participants to assess their long-term outcomes.

They also identified new cancer-related genetic mutations and found well-known mutations in cancer types where the mutations had not been observed previously. All of the data from the study have been made publicly available in a way that protects patient privacy, allowing researchers across the world to access and analyze them.

The results demonstrate that a comprehensive, enterprise-wide effort to map the genetic alterations of patients’ tumors is feasible, can provide important information for timely patient care, and may help shape the future of cancer therapy, the researchers wrote.

Already “the data have been used by the research labs here at Sloan Kettering and are utilized and discussed as part of routine clinical care,” said the study’s lead investigator, Michael Berger, Ph.D.

The results of the study were reported May 8 in Nature Medicine. …

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