We have recently launched a novel personalised therapy clinical trial to treat patients with late-stage colorectal cancer at George Mason University's Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM). This is one of the most cutting-edge personalised therapy clinical trials in the world for several reasons including:
For our, trial, a patient's metastasis is sampled using a needle biopsy and the pure tumour cells are isolated using laser capture microdissection. They are then solubilised and analysed with the reverse phase protein microarray, and the activation states of the Gleevec drug targets (ckit, cabl and PDGFr) are assessed. Gleevec is then given to patients with highly activated signatures while patients whose network is not activated are given the standard care therapy.Gleevec would not normally have been considered for treatment in these cases. In the new paradigm of personalised therapy, however, the site of the cancer does not matter because it is the molecular signature that drives selection — true personalised therapy.
The primary objectives of the trial are to see if we can implement this workflow and generate a Gleevec drug target activation score for each patient, see how that score changes before and after therapy, and determine the safety of Gleevec combined with an anti-EGFR therapy. The primary therapy endpoint is disease stabilisation as per RECIST (response evaluation criteria in solid tumours). We hope to have results on a statistically significant number of patients by the end of the year.