Implementation of pharmacogenomic testing in oncology care (PhOCus): study protocol of a pragmatic, randomized clinical trial

Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2020 Dec 17:12:1758835920974118. doi: 10.1177/1758835920974118. eCollection 2020.


Background: Many cancer patients who receive chemotherapy experience adverse drug effects. Pharmacogenomics (PGx) has promise to personalize chemotherapy drug dosing to maximize efficacy and safety. Fluoropyrimidines and irinotecan have well-known germline PGx associations. At our institution, we have delivered PGx clinical decision support (CDS) based on preemptively obtained genotyping results for a large number of non-oncology medications since 2012, but have not previously evaluated the utility of this strategy for patients initiating anti-cancer regimens. We hypothesize that providing oncologists with preemptive germline PGx information along with CDS will enable individualized dosing decisions and result in improved patient outcomes.

Methods: Patients with oncologic malignancies for whom fluoropyrimidine and/or irinotecan-inclusive therapy is being planned will be enrolled and randomly assigned to PGx and control arms. Patients will be genotyped in a clinical laboratory across panels that include actionable variants in UGT1A1 and DPYD. For PGx arm patients, treating providers will be given access to the patient-specific PGx results with CDS prior to treatment initiation. In the control arm, genotyping will be deferred, and dosing will occur as per usual care. Co-primary endpoints are dose intensity deviation rate (the proportion of patients receiving dose modifications during the first treatment cycle), and grade ⩾3 treatment-related toxicities throughout the treatment course. Additional study endpoints will include cumulative drug dose intensity, progression-free survival, dosing of additional PGx supportive medications, and patient-reported quality of life and understanding of PGx.

Discussion: Providing a platform of integrated germline PGx information may promote personalized chemotherapy dosing decisions and establish a new model of care to optimize oncology treatment planning.

Keywords: chemotherapy; fluoropyrimidines; genetic testing; irinotecan; pharmacogenomics; toxicity management.