Evaluation of personalized cancer therapies based on comprehensive genomic profiling in a middle-sized oncologic center in Austria, the University Clinic Krems

Transl Oncol. 2021 May;14(5):101021. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2021.101021. Epub 2021 Feb 20.


Background and aim: To successfully apply personalized cancer therapies, thorough understanding of the patient's tumor is needed. In-depth, comprehensive genomic profiling systems allow gathering this knowledge by testing hundreds of cancer-related genes. Several large institutions have established precision oncology programs in recent years with promising results for patients. However, especially middle-sized oncologic institutions face challenges to implement such programs. This study aims to retrospectively analyze the effects of comprehensive genomic tumor profiling with respect to feasibility and effectiveness in a middle-sized oncologic center in Austria.

Methods: From May 1st, 2016 to December 31st, 2019 patients at the University Clinic Krems, who suffered from CUP-syndromes plus patients, who were resistant to conventional therapy or have progressed after all available therapy lines, were offered to get their tumors analyzed by comprehensive genomic profiling in order to establish a customized therapy.

Results: Of 69 considered patients, 64 patients' samples could be profiled. The median number of detected alterations was 4 (minimum 0; maximum 23). Most frequent alterations were reported for TP53, KRAS and CDKN2A/B. In 13 patients (20% of 64 successful profiles), personalized therapies could be initiated. 22 patients were treated with another line of chemotherapy as no actionable alteration could be detected. Effectiveness, determined by a PFS of the newly initiated therapy longer than 130% of the last conventional therapy line, could be seen in 8 of 13 patients (61,5%) of the precision oncology cohort compared to only 3 of 22 patients (13,5%) in the chemotherapy group. Additionally, Kaplan-Meier curves of PFS demonstrate a significant benefit for personalized treated patients (p = 0,0165 with a median PFS of 151 days, compared to 83 days in the chemotherapy group).

Conclusion: In summary, personalized cancer therapy based on comprehensive genomic profiling is effective and feasible also in the setting of a middle-sized oncologic center.

Keywords: Comprehensive genomic profiling; Precision oncology; Retrospective cohort study.