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Your Genes and Future Cancer Treatment

MI-ONCOSEQ is a Rogel Cancer Center initiative where patients with metastatic or refractory cancer are enrolled to undergo comprehensive genomic profiling of their tumor and matched normal samples.

DNA strand on a dark blue background

The "one size fits all" approach is not effective in the clinical management of cancer. The personalization of therapy for cancer requires molecular characterization of unique and shared genetic aberrations. For many patients with advanced, metastatic cancer, either the standard of care is ineffective, or no standard of care therapy exists. Growing technological advances in genomic sequencing has now made it possible to use sequence data in a clinical setting. For instance, comprehensive high-throughput sequencing may identify biomarkers for predictive or prognostic purposes and thereby inform treatment choices and prevention strategies. Thus, the translation of high throughput next generation sequencing would enable a "personalized" strategy for cancer.

MI-ONCOSEQ is study that enrolls patients with metastatic cancer or cancer that is resistant to treatment, to undergo an "integrative sequencing approach" to provide a comprehensive landscape of the genetic alterations in individual tumor specimens for the purpose of identifying informative and/or actionable mutations. Furthermore, it can identify certain germline (inherited) alterations that may also be relevant to patients and their families. For patients with advanced, metastatic disease, participating in MI-ONCOSEQ may help guide the future treatment of their cancer. To learn more about how to participate in the study, please discuss with your treating physician/oncologist first and have them contact our study coordinators at [email protected]. Visit the MI-ONCOSEQ website to learn more.

MI-ONCOSEQ, housed in the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology (MCTP), is a Rogel Cancer Center initiative where patients with metastatic or refractory cancer are enrolled to undergo comprehensive genomic profiling of their tumor and matched normal samples. An "integrative sequencing approach" is used that will provide a comprehensive landscape of actionable and informative mutations in a tumor as well as identify certain germline (heritable genetic material) alterations that may also be relevant for patients and their families. A molecular report summarizing the genomic results and potential therapeutic targets/clinical trials is returned to the treating physicians to guide treatment strategies and clinical trial eligibility. Since the launch of MI-ONCOSEQ in 2011, nearly 6000 adult and 1000 pediatric patients have undergone clinical sequencing analysis. Additionally, MI-ONCOSEQ supports a number of ongoing clinical trials/studies that utilize clinical sequencing.

Additionally, over the years, MI-ONCOSEQ study has led to several important discoveries including the pathognomomic gene fusion for solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) as well as diverse targetable gene fusions of FGFR across a diverse array of common solid tumors. Researchers also identified activating mutations in ESR1 that are a key mechanism in acquired endocrine resistance in breast cancer therapy and inactivation of CDK12 that defines a novel molecular class of prostate cancer. Several large mutational landscape studies of prostate cancer, adult and pediatric metastatic cancers and multiple myeloma have also been published.

"Ours is one of the few pioneering studies in this area and we hope to set the standards for the future when clinical sequencing becomes adopted as routine standard of care," says Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the MCTP. "We have made tremendous advances in just the short time since initiating our study and we hope to make a significant impact in the treatment of cancer that will greatly benefit patients."

More information about MI-ONSOSEQ

This article was originally published in the Fall, 2014 issue of Thrive. It has since been updated August, 2022.

Thrive Issue: 
Fall, 2014