Researchers at Mayo Clinic, and the Center for Individualized Medicine, have recently been utilizing genomic sequencing to help develop personalized care treatments for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer, a progressive and incurable stage of prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapies that stop or slow testosterone production.
“Men with castration-resistant prostate cancer have abysmal survival rates, typically living an average of two years once hormone therapies fail,” says Manish Kohli, M.D., a Mayo Clinic oncologist and principal investigator of the Prostate Cancer Medically Optimized Genome-Enhanced Therapy (PROMOTE) study.
The FDA has recently approved several new therapies for use in treating castration-resistant prostate cancer. Many questions remain, however, over which medications to use in individual cases. Researchers and doctors utilize exome sequencing and RNA profiling in the PROMOTE study, to identify biomarkers within prostate cancers that can help identify the optimal drug for each individual patient.
The PROMOTE study will also uncover new targets in the cancer genome that can lead investigators and drug companies to develop new therapies. These new targets will be identified largely through mouse “avatars,” which will carry the individual tumors of PROMOTE study participants. These avatar mice also will help doctors identify and test new drugs against the patients’ tumors before introducing the toxic and potentially harmful agents into the patients, themselves.
“The approach we are taking with PROMOTE is exactly what we are working toward across Mayo Clinic through our Center for Individualized Medicine,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. “We’re offering individualized care and tailored treatment options for our patients.”
Being the most commonly diagnosed solid organ malignancy in the U.S with more than 238,000 new diagnoses annually and an estimated 29,720 death, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American men, according to the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute.