Precision Oncology-The Quest for Evidence

J Pers Med. 2019 Sep 5;9(3):43. doi: 10.3390/jpm9030043.


The molecular characterization of patient tumors provides a rational and highly promising approach for guiding oncologists in treatment decision-making. Notwithstanding, genomic medicine still remains in its infancy, with innovators and early adopters continuing to carry a significant portion of the clinical and financial risk. Numerous innovative precision oncology trials have emerged globally to address the associated need for evidence of clinical utility. These studies seek to capitalize on the power of predictive biomarkers and/or treatment decision support analytics, to expeditiously and cost-effectively demonstrate the positive impact of these technologies on drug resistance/response, patient survival, and/or quality of life. Here, we discuss the molecular foundations of these approaches and highlight the diversity of innovative trial strategies that are capitalizing on this emergent knowledge. We conclude that, as increasing volumes of clinico-molecular outcomes data become available, in future, we will begin to transition away from expert systems for treatment decision support (TDS), towards the power of AI-assisted TDS-an evolution that may truly revolutionize the nature and success of cancer patient care.

Keywords: clinical trial design; clinical utility; genome-based diagnostics; personalized cancer medicine; treatment decision support.

Publication types

  • Review