Complexity of Delivering Precision Medicine: Opportunities and Challenges

Andrew A. Davis, Amy E. McKee, Warren A. Kibbe, Victoria M. Villaflor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Precision medicine has emerged as a tool to match patients with the appropriate treatment based on the precise molecular features of an individual patient's tumor. Although examples of targeted therapies exist resulting in dramatic improvements in patient outcomes, comprehensive genomic profiling of tumors has also demonstrated the incredible complexity of molecular alterations in tissue and blood. These sequencing methods provide opportunities to study the landscape of tumors at baseline and serially in response to treatment. These tools also serve as important biomarkers to detect resistance to treatment and determine higher likelihood of responding to particular treatments, such as immune checkpoint blockade. Federally funded and publicly available data repositories have emerged as mechanisms for data sharing. In addition, novel clinical trials are emerging to develop new ways of incorporating molecular matched therapy into clinical trials. Various challenges to delivery of precision oncology include understanding the complexity of advanced tumors based on evolving "omics" and treatment resistance. For physicians, determining when and how to incorporate genetic and molecular tools into clinic in a cost-effective manner is critical. Finally, we discuss the importance of well-designed prospective clinical trials, biomarkers such as liquid biopsies, the use of multidisciplinary tumor boards, and data sharing as evidence-based medicine tools to optimally study and deliver precision oncology to our patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1007
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting
Issue number38
StatePublished - May 23 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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