• Biomarker profiling and molecular analysis

    Asked by Mfausset1 on Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Biomarker profiling and molecular analysis

    Hey all! I had a question I was hoping you could help me with. I recently read an article about biomarker analysis and molecular profiling. I had asked my oncologist about these tests, and her response was that they are "completely unvalidated and not clinically useful". I am having a hard time understanding the "not clinically useful" part. Has anybody had any experiences similar to this? If you are interested in checking out the article, it is through CancerHAWK, which is a great blog and resource! Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Biomarker analysis and molecular profiling are primarily research methods, not practical for diagnosing or treating individual cancers (i.e. clinically useful). In other words, the results of the analysis and profile would not provide any useful information for treating your individual cancer. The hope is that some day this methodology will provide information about common aspects of various types of cancer that will be useful in the development of new treatments for those cancers.

      about 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      My cancer pathology slides (both renal and trip neg breast) have been sent to Foundation Medicine to be sequenced to help get a handle on the mutations that the individual cancers have and what if any targeted treatments might be available. I am also having a breastnext panel done by Ambry Genetics. (they also have a ColoNextTM panel) These panel help identify cancer sensitive gene mutations I have, the results can help chose which treatments to try as well as which treatments have been found not to work with cancer in individuals with specific gene mutations. Each individual is unique and the combination of triggers (genetic, environmental , etc) can help fine tune treatment. I and my teams are very excited about this. I would recommend that you get a 2nd opinion from another oncologist and/geneticists who specializes in cancer.

      about 4 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Hello, I am not a patient but I am an oncology nurse. I specialize in gyne cancers and the most often asked question my patients have is "how could this have happened?" I started taking classes in genetics, genomics, mapping the genome, the diseaseome, and proteomics. These classes have really helped me to answer that question. These are your cells, your biological and molecular make-up and by extension, the DNA of the offspring you might have. Not only can they help you to identify possible cancers, but other diseases or traits as well. Last year I attended the Ovarian Cancers Survivor Course and last month a webinar on the Genetics of Ovarian Cancer and both were sponsored by the Foundation for Womens Cancers. To them, this is an important part of the care that should be offered. The bottom line is that you cannot expect to defeat an enemy if you do not know what you are up against. The more knowledge you gain, the more empowered you become. I agree with SueRae1, get a second opinion or find a genetic counselor nearby. Colorectal cancer is a hereditary cancer. Not only will you learn more about the mutations that cause your cancer, but you will then gain an understanding of the drugs used to treat it. Best of luck to you, Carm.

      about 4 years ago
    • bettybuckets' Avatar

      Hi I am a survivor and also work for one of the molecular diagnostic companies. Better understanding the biology of the tumor will lead to better outcomes for you. Some docs will hide behind saying that we need more data but the fact is that we have tons of validation studies and some clinical utility studies too depending on which molecular test you are considering. These tests are very useful. Some docs who are slow to warm up to new tools will want to treat empirically-a fancy word meaning that they prefer to be allowed to guess what will work best.

      about 4 years ago

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