New Resources Help Practices Navigate Precision Medicine

August 6, 2019

Precision medicine treatments (otherwise known as targeted therapies) have the potential to improve outcomes for patients with advanced cancer. Over the last 5 years, 20% of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) drug approvals have been for precision medicine treatments. With so many treatments coming onto the market, it can be challenging for oncologists to navigate the options available to identify the right treatment for each patient.

As part ASCO’s State of Cancer Care in America™ initiative, the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) published a series of articles and commentaries focused on precision medicine, how to implement it in oncology practices, and precision medicine’s impact on patients. These commentaries and resources accompany an article published in JOP earlier this year, which provides an overview of some of the existing clinical, administrative, and financial challenges that make it difficult for oncology practices to implement precision medicine, using three large, multisite practices as examples to illustrate how these challenges can be overcome.

  • Options for accessing precision medicine: A new article helps clinicians to determine whether a tumor mutation is potentially treatable with a marketed or investigational therapy and offers guidance on how to access the product of interest. The article is accompanied by a new visual guide for clinicians to help determine whether a targeted therapy is a viable treatment option for an individual patient.
  • Implementing precision medicine: A physician commentary shares one practice’s experience with precision medicine and raises additional questions about what practices must consider before implementing precision medicine, including how the cancer care team orders next-generation sequencing (NGS), the effort associated with implementing molecular tumor boards, and cost of implementing new programs. A second commentary discusses the importance of addressing patient expectations, using decision support and other technology, and implementing collaborative care models to realize the promise of precision medicine.
  • Disparities and precision medicine: A recent commentary looks at how precision medicine has the potential to widen disparities in cancer care. The authors analyze three key areas where disparities could actually worsen as a result of incorrect implementation of precision medicine: access to NGS, underrepresentation of certain population segments in clinical trials, and participation in biospecimen repositories.
  • A patient perspective: In a commentary published by ASCO Connection,  Martha “Meg” Gaines, a survivor of cancer and patient advocate, provides the patient perspective on the practical questions that patient-provider teams must address – such as affordability for each patient – before implementing precision medicine.

Read additional State of Cancer Care in America articles and commentaries.

Watch the inaugural State of Cancer Care in America event, Precision Medicine: Expanding Opportunities.

Download the visual guide to navigating precision medicine options.

For more information on precision medicine, explore JCO Precision Oncology.

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