Clinical OMICS

JUL-AUG 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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30 Clinical OMICs July/August 2019 The Breadth of Precision Medicine at ASCO 2019 From early detection to progress in difficult-to-treat cancers and previously undruggable targets By Cindy Perettie, CEO, Foundation Medicine T he way ASCO started for me this year set the scene for what was an inspiring and fascinating weekend. Early on Friday morning, before most people's ASCOs had started, I sat in a meeting room in the conference center watching it slowly fill to the brim with people. I was there to participate in a panel discussion on precision oncology, organized by McKinsey & Co. My fellow panel members represented a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds, and it was a lively and engaging discussion that I hope to be able to con- tinue in some form through this forum another time. Despite our differing perspectives and roles, it struck me that we were all strongly aligned around one point in par- ticular—the belief that our ability to properly harness the power of real-world data will have the greatest influence on progress in cancer care in the future. We also agreed that simply generating huge quantities of data is not the answer. I think we can all appreciate, after an ASCO full of too many coffees and sandwiches on the run, that performance is very much dependent on the quality of the fuel, and the same is true here. To shape our collective understanding and decision making, the data at our dis- posal has to be of exceptionally high quality—and consis- tently so. That this was a unifying priority was heartening for me and there was a real spirit of collaboration in the room cen- tered around achieving that goal. As a result, I went into ASCO eagerly anticipating the possibilities on offer at this year 's meeting, and it certainly didn't disappoint. The sheer volume of new knowledge and thinking presented over the course of a few days was astounding, but there were some announcements in partic- ular that stood out for me this year. Glimpsing a future of early detection I was not alone in being impressed and encouraged by the data that Grail presented from its Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas study, demonstrating the potential for its Photo © ASCO/Max Gersh 2019

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