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New insights into treatment targets for men with advanced prostate cancers

May 13, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, and CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - A study published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology Precision Oncology, an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) journal, outlines findings from the largest-ever prospective genomic analysis of advanced prostate cancer tumors. Using comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) to analyze thousands of tumor samples from men with advanced prostate cancers, the researchers identified that 57 percent of the samples evaluated had genomic characteristics that suggested the tumors were candidates for targeted therapies.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer type in men, with about one in nine men experiencing a prostate cancer diagnosis in his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Thanks to early detection techniques, the five-year survival rate for men with prostate tumors that are localized or only in nearby parts of the body is nearly 100 percent, while only about 30 percent of men with prostate cancers that have spread to distant parts of the body will still be alive five years after their diagnosis.

The purpose of this study, co-led by Foundation Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U), was to analyze prostate tumors using CGP to identify genomic changes to inform potential targeted treatment strategies. CGP analyzes tumor samples to identify genomic changes so that, where possible, a patient can be matched to available targeted treatments.

"This study demonstrates that routine clinical use of comprehensive genomic profiling frequently identifies genomic alterations that can inform targeted therapy options, as well as potential therapy development targets, for patients with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer," said Jon Chung, PhD, associate director of clinical development at Foundation Medicine.

Researchers in the study analyzed nearly 3,500 unique tumor samples, including 1,660 primary site tumors and 1,816 metastatic site tumors from unmatched patients. The researchers utilized the FoundationOne® test developed by Foundation Medicine for CGP.

"This is the largest study of its kind done to date and gives a very encouraging message in the fact that more than half of the study patients' tumors have characteristics for which drug targets exist," said Neeraj Agarwal, MD, a prostate cancer physician-scientist at HCI and professor of medicine at the U of U. "This information provides major insights into how we can design new clinical trials or drugs that will better treat men with advanced prostate cancers."

Agarwal and Chung collaborated with scientists from eight other institutions worldwide. The team anticipates these findings may be used to accelerate the development of new drugs and treatment approaches, including immunotherapies, for men with advanced prostate cancers.
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This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), including P30 CA042014, and by Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

About Huntsman Cancer Institute:

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah. The cancer campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital as well as two buildings dedicated to cancer research. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and is recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West, HCI serves the largest geographic region in the country, drawing patients from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at HCI than at any other cancer center in the world, including genes responsible for hereditary breast, ovarian, colon, head, and neck cancers, along with melanoma. HCI manages the Utah Population Database, the largest genetic database in the world, with information on more than 11 million people linked to genealogies, health records, and vital statistics. HCI was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

About Foundation Medicine:

Foundation Medicine is a molecular information company dedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed by a deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient's unique cancer. The company offers a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling assays to identify the molecular alterations in a patient's cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials. Foundation Medicine's molecular information platform aims to improve day-to-day care for patients by serving the needs of clinicians, academic researchers and drug developers to help advance the science of molecular medicine in cancer. For more information, please visit http://www.FoundationMedicine.com or follow Foundation Medicine on Twitter (@FoundationATCG).

Huntsman Cancer Institute

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