Advances in our understanding of cancer’s underlying mechanisms have led to considerable innovation in cancer therapies targeting specific molecular alterations. One of the challenges in bringing these technologies to the clinical setting lies in identifying the subset of patients who might benefit. Translational research seeks to finds ways of getting effective treatments to patients as quickly as possible, by translating findings observed in a laboratory to a clinical setting.
EORTC’s translational research covers a large number of projects in several types of cancer, focusing on
- Validating biomarkers as prognostic factors
- Correlating certain gene expressions with response to treatment
- Evaluating tumour response to targeted agents using advanced imaging techniques
EORTC research in all fields generates a large amount of translational research data and key findings which help advance our understanding of cancer mechanisms. Among those, some flagship examples include:
The MINDACT study (link to clinical trial db), in partnership with BIG (Breast International Group) (More information), showed that women identified as “low-risk” using the 70-gene test could consider foregoing this additional treatment, avoiding its serious side-effects, with no difference in outcome.
The CREATE study (link to clinical trial db) aims at assessing the activity and safety of Crizotinib in six independent tumour types, including advanced papillary renal cell carcinoma type 1 (pRCC1). So far, the study has showed pRCC1 patients with MET mutations in exons 16-19 (MET +) have had long-lasting disease control benefits. The CREATE study continues for other rare tumour types and is considered a landmark in the field of oncology for rare tumours. (Schoeffski P, Wozniak A, Escudier B, Rutkowski P, Anthoney A. Crizotinib achieves objective responses and long-lasting disease control in patients (pts) with metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma type 1 (PRCC1) with somatic MET mutations. EORTC phase II trial 90101 “CREATE”. Oral Presentation at AACR Annual Meeting 2016, New Orlean, USA, 16-20, 2016. Clin Cancer Res 2016.)
In low-grade Glioma (More information) exploratory analyses in patients with IDHmt/non-codel tumours suggest that treatment with primary chemotherapy might be deleterious; patients in this subgroup treated with temozolomide had a significantly shorter progression-free survival than those who received radiotherapy. Conversely, progression-free survival was similar between patients treated with radiotherapy and temozolomide in both subgroups of patients with IDHmt/codel and IDHwt tumours. However, the IDHwt subgroup was small (n=49), potentially heterogeneous, as this glioma subtype is molecularly insufficiently defined. (More information)