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Molecular Tumor Board Advice Shows Clinical Benefits for Cancer Care, Study Finds

Multidisciplinary molecular tumor boards (MTBs) can improve clinical outcomes for patients with advanced cancers, according to a study published this week in JCO Precision Oncology. Multidisciplinary MTBs, which leverage the expertise of multiple researchers and clinicians, are increasingly being used to interpret next-generation sequencing reports to help guide cancer treatment, but data around their clinical utility is sparse. To gain insights into the matter, scientists from the University of Kentucky examined results from a single-arm, prospective Phase II clinical trial of patients with various cancers — including lung, gynecologic, and head and neck — who had undergone NGS genomic testing and had an actionable mutation, no curative treatment options, and received an MTB-recommended therapy. The investigators find that most patients treated with second- or greater-line MTB-directed therapy experienced improved progression-free survival versus immediately prior treatment. "Personalized cancer therapies are quickly becoming approved for multiple molecular targets and primary disease sites … [resulting in] difficult decisions for patients whose tumors harbor more than one actionable mutation," the study's authors write. "MTBs may help oncologists choose the most efficacious therapy option, especially when multiple options are available."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.