Dr Michael Korn Highlights a Key Takeaway From the Precision Medicine Session at QCCA’s Fall Meeting

During the panel on precision medicine at the Quality Cancer Care Alliance (QCCA) Fall Leadership Summit, the speakers discussed testing every patient upfront with a broad molecular assessment and bringing clinical research to the patient.

During the panel on precision medicine at the Quality Cancer Care Alliance (QCCA) Fall Leadership Summit, the speakers discussed testing every patient upfront with a broad molecular assessment and bringing clinical research to the patient, said W. Michael Korn, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco, and chief medical officer of Caris Life Sciences.

Transcript

Are there any takeaways from the precision medicine panel at the Quality Cancer Care Alliance Fall Leadership Summit that you want to highlight?

Well, I think was a great session, because we looked at precision medicine from the different angles. And I was, you know—one of the areas where I feel, you know, I might be just sitting on my academic island sometimes, and might be too quick and moving in a certain direction—I felt very relieved when, you know, I proposed at this point, we should test every patient right up front, molecularly with a broad molecular assessment with the idea in mind, that that might not influence the immediate treatment that the patient receives but allows the doctor to chart out a pathway for that patient in a very individualized way. And that is driven by these molecular findings. And, you know, I think recognition that that is of great value, I think, will accelerate and optimize how precision medicine is being applied in clinical practice.

The other I think, take home message, where I think we all agree on is to bring research, especially clinical research, to the patient, instead of having the patient come to a tertiary treatment center. So, the idea of trials that are accessible to oncologists, in their private practice, where the trial can be opened for their patients, I think it's a very important step forward, because it really democratizes the whole approach.

You know, right now we have maybe 5% to 7% of all cancer patients will ever enroll into a clinical trial. That is so much information that's completely missed. So, we need to reverse this. And one way of doing it is through this is just-in-time clinical trial programs, where, you know, we have mechanisms now in place when we find a molecular mutation that's very important, we know there is a clinical trial that is specifically designed for this particular mutation. We can open this trial within 2 weeks at a doctor's practice. And by doing so we really believe we can flip this picture around and have the majority of patients participate in trials, so we learn while we’re treating.

So there will be—my prediction is that this kind of sharp boundary between your academic clinical research, and then the consumers of the results on the other side and the doctors in private practice, that that boundary will soften, and we'll turn more into action, where really we learn from every patient who is being treated.