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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."