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The Next Horizon in Precision Oncology

Where is cancer research headed in the next decade? Scientists and oncologists at the National Cancer Institute share their thoughts on the NEXT HORIZON IN PRECISION ONCOLOGY - proteogenomics.

Oncology has experienced more constant change in the last 30 years than from the late 20th century to the time cancer was first identified in 440 B.C. The rapid pace of innovation in oncology has been fueled by an immense knowledge explosion about cancers at the tumor molecular level, how they grow and how to treat them in different subpopulations. And while the advances we see in oncology today - targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and precise diagnostics - has made some significant strides on patient care, more molecular information about a person’s risk for certain cancers as well as what drugs might work best for cancer patients is needed. As a result, cancer remains a massive health problem that researchers across the United States and elsewhere are working tirelessly to solve.

In a recently published article on April 1, 2021 in the journal Cell, Drs. Henry Rodriguez, Jean Claude Zenklusen, Louis Staudt, James Doroshow, and Douglas Lowy at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, examine cancer through the lens of comprehensive molecular characterization of tumors from cancer patients. They describe the significant contributions of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) to multidisciplinary collaborative team science and precision oncology, and make the case that proteogenomics needs to be fully integrated into clinical trials and patient care. This approach of genomic and proteomic markers, also highlighted in an FDA draft guidance of enrichment strategies that drug developers can use to gain insights into the safety and efficacy of drugs, will further enable precision oncology to deliver the right cancer treatment to the right patient at the right dose and at the right time.

Recognizing the significant impact that CPTAC has made and is poised to continue making in proteogenomics cancer research, Cell Press has created an online space dedicated to archiving CPTAC research that has and will be published in its family of journals. These papers provide strong resource-based frameworks to better understand a range of human cancers through the lens of precision oncology and will be valuable in informing effective treatment options.

Article: Rodriguez H, Zenklusen JC, Staudt LM, Doroshow JH, Lowy DR. The next horizon in precision oncology: Proteogenomics to inform cancer diagnosis and treatment. Cell, Vol. 184, April 1, 2021.