Personalized medicine is the latest craze in patient care. In essence, it refers to the development of treatment options which take into account the patient as an individual. It reduces the distribution of generalized treatment plans which may not actually be the most beneficial for the particular patient at hand. For instance, researchers are able to analyze which specific drug or combination of drugs may be most effective for a cancer patient by evaluating personal tissue samples.
Considering the fact that a delay in treatment or an ineffective treatment results in worse patient outcomes, there are high hopes that this new method could save patient lives.
However, many members of the healthcare community are still wondering if this new technique is feasible.
Notable set about to determine the feasibility of the technique in regards to time. To complete this evaluation, they teamed up with Stanford University and Tempus.
This study included 20 myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients who were refractory to standard treatment. The researchers’ goal was to provide personalized medicine recommendations for all 20 patients within just 30 days. To accomplish this, they would analyze patient samples against hundreds of potential drugs/drug combinations. For each patient, a blood sample was sent from Stanford to both Tempus and Notable. Notable than analyzed the potential treatments utilizing their ex vivo drug sensitivity technology and Tempus conducted DNA sequencing. Stanford then created a personalized report for each patient, including their treatment recommendation. This report was shared with both patient and physician.
Thankfully, the researchers in this study were successful. In regards to accuracy, the recommendations were found to have an average predictive value of 84%.
This study is so important because time can be a significant setback in this field. Even if, through personalized medicine, the most beneficial treatment is determined for an individual, if they do not hear what this treatment is before it’s too late, the mission wasn’t useful. This trial showed that it is possible to get treatment recommendations back to patients within a timeline where clinical action can still be taken.
Even more specifically, this trial shows promise for those in the MDS patient community living with HMA-refractory disease.
More data from this investigation will be presented in June at the European Hematology Association annual meeting in Amsterdam.
You can read more this study here.