Individualized cancer treatment


A research team of Samsung Medical Center reported that it proved the individualized treatment effect based on the genome of patients with metastatic gastric cancer for the first time in the world. This study was presented in the latest issue of Cancer Discovery (IF 26.4), an academic journal of the American Cancer Society. Moreover, this September, it was selected and introduced as an innovative research work in the online news of Nature.


The research team studied 772 patients with metastatic gastric cancer who had completed the first chemotherapy from March 2014 to July 2018.


To identify various factors that could have affected the diseases of the patients, the research team studied the patients using multi-omics analysis. In addition, to accurately find out drugs that were necessary for the treatment of the patients based on the analysis, the research team performed an umbrella trial (multiple candidate drugs were simulated at once to find out which drug would be effective for the patients).


The research team selected 105 patients based on cancer-related gene mutation status, etc. and administered drugs, which matched the corresponding biomarkers, to the selected patients. Among the rest of the patients, 317 of them who needed or could receive the second therapy were administered with drugs based on the preexisting therapy.


As a result, the median survival time of the group of patients who completed up to the second treatment based on the preexisting therapy was 6.9 months, and that of the group of patients who received treatment based on biomarkers was 9.8 months, which was about 3 months longer. Moreover, the progressive free survival time, in which the disease was not deteriorated further, of the biomarker therapy group was 5.7 months, and that of the preexisting therapy group was 3.8 months.


In 2018, the same research team did genome analysis on patients with metastatic gastric cancer whose treatment was difficult with the preexisting anticancer agents to find out which patients would benefit from anticancer immunotherapy. Furthermore, this study was presented in Nature Medicine, a world’s renowned academic journal, drawing much attention from academia. The puzzles of genome analysis and immunotherapy in gastric cancer would be solved based on such study results.