European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has developed a tumour DNA scale to standardise and simplify personalised medicine for cancer.
The ESMO Scale for Clinical Actionability of molecular Targets (ESCAT) has been agreed by European and North American cancer specialists, and published in the Annals of Oncology.
The scale is intended to optimise care by enabling easy detection of cancer patients who may respond to targeted medicines. The tumour DNA scale is also expected to make treatment cost-effective.
ESMO Translational Research and Precision Medicine Working Group chair Fabrice André said: “Doctors receive a growing amount of information about the genetic make-up of each patient’s cancer, but this can be difficult to interpret for making optimal treatment choices.
“The new scale will help us distinguish between alterations in tumour DNA that are important for decisions about targeted medicines or access to clinical trials, and those which aren’t relevant.”
The scale grades tumour DNA mutations based on their relevance as markers. This grading system considers the available clinical evidence and upgrades or downgrades mutations depending on new data.
This classification is relevant to all potential precision cancer medicines and not limited to the approved drugs.
ESMO hopes that the roll out of ESCAT into clinical practice will initiate inclusion of Tier I-V genomic mutations grading in patients’ clinical and laboratory reports at cancer centres and laboratories.
The scale will allow clinicians and patients to easily discuss multigene sequencing results.
André added: “ESCAT will bring order to the current jungle of mutation analysis so that we all speak the same language for classifying mutations and prioritising how we use them to enhance patient care.”