An earlier online article in JCO Precision Oncology presents a study of next-generation sequencing (NGS) as it applies to molecular profiling of non-gastrointestinal stromal (GIST) soft tissue sarcomas .
Non-GIST sarcomas are malignant tumors (neoplasms) originating in bone or soft tissues.
There are fifty subtypes of sarcomas which creates a challenge for classification and management. The treatment options currently available for patients are limited and they are not curative.
In addition, therapies for sarcomas have been lumped together under broad classifications such as “soft tissue sarcoma” in spite of the many different subtypes.
Recently, pathologists have been calling for molecularly guided therapeutic selection in the treatment of patients who have advanced cancer.
Sarcoma pathologists agree that there is a need for certified laboratories to perform molecular screening . The results of the screening should be made available to clinicians in a reasonable time frame. This could be accomplished with precision cancer medicine.
About the Study
The patients had submitted to commercial genomic testing which took place at the Moffitt Cancer Center from May 2013 through March 2017.
The study centered on identifying the molecular target involved in the spread of cancer, clarifying the diagnoses, and reviewing treatment results.
The research team analyzed results from 114 patients with non-GIST sarcoma. The cohorts were divided into fifty-one men and sixty-three women between the ages of thirty-eight and sixty-five.
The majority of patients had a disease that had metastasized. There were twenty patients in the group with bone sarcomas and the remaining patients were identified as having soft tissue tumors.
Most patients in the group had a prior history of being treated with systemic therapy, which involves treatment travelling through the bloodstream.
A total of 438 genes with the potential to cause cancer were identified in the entire cohort of 114 tumors.
Therapeutic options were recommended for 88 patients as a result of the commercial testing report.
Pathology results were confirmed by a Moffitt pathologist specializing in soft tissue and bone sarcomas.
Recommendations from the study are recorded in each patient’s electronic medical history as a reference for their physicians. The study is viewed as the largest of its kind to date.
Results of the study were consistent with the limited published literature on the use of next generation sequencing in connection with clinical profiling of advanced sarcomas.
However, further study is recommended to make a determination as to whether genetic profiling improves clinical outcomes.
The University of South Florida review board approved this study.