Development of personalized medicine in oncology


Roberta Bosotti

Nerviano Medical Sciences


  • New target therapies take advantage of the increasing knowledge on the molecular mechanisms at the basis of tumor development, derived from the analysis of the huge amount of data generated by the new “omics” technologies
  • Clinical practice is evolving from the choice of the drug treatment based on symptoms and immunohistochemistry classification of the tumor versus the so called "Personalized Therapy”, through the characterization of the genomics background of the single tumor (patient)
  • Genomics analysis can indeed guide patient population selection through the identification of biomarkers which can predict the sensitivity of the tumor to the selected therapy, with consequent reduction of the attrition rate in clinical development
  • Protein kinases are key enzymes controlling different cellular functions, whose deregulation, often induced by genetic alterations, plays an important role in several human diseases, including cancer, making kinases a very attractive class of druggable targets
  • The clinical success of tyrosine kinase inhibitors is proven by a number of examples, such as imatinib in BCR–ABL1 fusion-positive leukemia, EGFR mutant inhibitors or ALK fusions inhibitors in NSCLC
  • In this talk, we will discuss the importance of biomarker identification in drug development and describe examples of methods used for their identification and characterization in the preclinical and clinical setting