Yale study: Mapping tumors’ genes doesn’t improve survival
In this age of personalized medicine, sequencing the genes in a patient’s tumor can reveal mutations that may be treatable with targeted medications.
But a new Yale School of Medicine-led study published Aug. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that testing for many such mutations does not improve the chances of a patient’s survival.
Data was analyzed from 5,688 patients with non-small cell lung cancer who were treated in a community cancer clinic rather than a large research institution. About 15 percent received broad-based sequencing of the tumor’s genome; the rest were tested only for two mutations, known as EGFR and ALK, for which medications are available.
Incorporating variables into the analysis, the researchers found that mortality rates after 12 months were 41.1 percent for those who had the broad-based sequencing and 44.4 percent for those who just had the tests for EGFR and ALK.