A new study focused on describing genetic variations within a primary tumor, differences between the primary and a metastatic branch of that tumor, and additional diversity found in tumor DNA in the blood stream could help physicians make better treatment choices for patients with gastric and esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Many current approaches to genome-guided therapy, often referred to as “precision medicine,” have produced imprecise results. This is particularly the case for gastric and esophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA), which are common cancers. They can be difficult to control and are often detected and diagnosed late. They frequently recur after surgery, and those recurrences are generally incurable. GEAs lead to more than 700,000 deaths a year globally.

“The extensive genetic variation of these cancers from patient to patient has recently become better understood,” said the study’s senior author, Daniel Catenacci, MD, assistant professor of medicine and associate director of gastrointestinal oncology at the University of Chicago. “Our study was designed to quantify the level of variation within each patient’s cancer at baseline, prior to receiving any treatment.”

 

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