Dr. Peter Nelson is principal researcher on Stand Up to Cancer Dream Team that charts genomic landscape of advanced prostate cancer
An international, multi-institution Stand Up to Cancer Prostate Cancer Foundation Dream Team published findings May 21 in Cell that hold promise for advancing precision medicine for men with advanced prostate cancer.
Dr. Peter Nelson, a prostate cancer researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is a principal researcher on the Dream Team, which includes scientists from Fred Hutch and the University of Washington, among other institutions.
The researchers sequenced the DNA and RNA of tumor-biopsy samples from 150 men with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer – an advanced form of the disease that has stopped responding to standard hormone-based therapies. They found that approximately 90 percent of the tumor specimens harbored some kind of genetic anomaly that was “clinically actionable,” meaning that treatments may already exist to target those aberrations.
“There are several notable and exciting results from this study,” Nelson said. “First, we demonstrated that biopsies can be routinely obtained from patients with a metastatic solid tumor and that these biopsies yield high-quality information. Second, these advanced prostate cancers have a wide spectrum of genomic aberrations; the study now provides a road map for drug development,” he said. “Third, and very importantly, different tumors have different driver aberrations, meaning that you would not want to treat each patient the same way. The genetic information clearly points to specific targets that should be prioritized in an individual patient.”