No two men with prostate cancer have exactly the same disease. Instead, each has distinct genomic and molecular changes that make the cancer more or less likely to respond to a particular treatment – and scientists still have much to learn about custom-tailoring the right treatment for each patient. A new Hopkins program may help.
“While there are attempts to develop new drugs specifically for patients with certain gene mutations, the clinical significance of these mutations is not well understood,” says medical oncologist Catherine Handy Marshall, M.D., M.P.H. With colleagues Mario Eisenberger, M.D., Emmanuel Antonarakis, M.D., Alex Baras, M.D., Ph.D., and systems engineer Arya Rasouli, Marshall developed the Genetics and Clinical Outcomes in Prostate Cancer (GCOP) Program, part of the Prostate Cancer Precision Medicine Center of Excellence. The program has a research library of biodata samples from nearly 500 patients.
“For example, PARP inhibitors are approved for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer,” Marshall explains, “but which men might benefit the most, and who might not benefit, is still being studied.”