Though the number of each rare cancer patients are few, the overall number of rare cancers account for about one fourth of all cancers. Treatments for rare cancer patients are limited due to the lack of standard treatment guideline for each rare cancer type. The study from the University of California-San Diego Moores Cancer Center showed that rare cancer patients could find genotype-matched therapies based on their genomic alterations via genomic testing.
The researchers conducted a comprehensive genomic testing for tumor tissues of 33 rare cancer patients. Among all the testers, 32 patients bear genomic alterations related to cancer via genomic testing. 21 patients had received genotype-matched therapy, and among them, over half experienced a good treatment response. Among responders, three patients achieved stable disease; six patients showed partial remission and two patients showed complete remission. The median progression free survival (mPFS) was 19.7 months in the genotype-matched group comparing to 3.5 months in the control group. These findings suggest that rare cancer patients could use their genomic alterations information to guide their personalized therapy via genomic testing.