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Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Survival Found Following Targeted Treatments Matched to Genomic Alterations

For a paper in NPJ Genomic Medicine, a team from the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Nebraska, and other centers in the US and France present findings from an advanced pancreatic cancer pilot study focused on biomarker-based personalized medicine options. Starting with data for more than 6,800 patients in a University of California, San Diego, database, the investigators focused on 18 advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients with targeted treatment therapies found by genomic profiling, including five patients who received targeted treatment as a first-line therapy and 13 patients given them as second-line targeted agents. High biomarker-targeted treatment matching scores coincided with stretched-out overall survival times, they found, with higher clinical benefit rates in patients who received first-line targeted treatment. "The results of this analysis suggest that, when genomic-directed matched therapy can achieve a high degree of matching, and especially in first-line settings, clinical outcomes can be improved, even with regimens that exclude chemotherapy," the authors report, adding that the findings "reflect the need for implementation of multi-omic and functional testing for all patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, perhaps earlier in the course of disease, to further identify actionable alterations."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.