Philip R. Cohen, MD
Dr. Cohen is from the University of Houston Health Center, Texas; the Department of Dermatology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; and the Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Medical School, Houston.
Dr. Cohen reports no conflicts of interest in relation to this post.
The June 2012 issue of Annals of Oncology (2012;23[suppl 5]:v6-v11) featured an abstract (L6.5) from the 4th WIN (Worldwide Innovative Networking in personalized cancer medicine) symposium on the efficacy of biomarkers and personalized cancer therapy that took place in Paris, France, on June 28 and 29, 2012. The authors provided an update on using personalized medicine for the treatment of a large cohort of oncology patients with advanced cancer. Complete molecular profiling of the patient’s tumor was performed and the patient was treated with matched therapy, when available, directed against the detected molecular aberration. The results were measured as a function of time to treatment failure and supported the use of a personalized molecular approach for patients with cancer.
What’s the issue?
Personalized dermatologic therapy with the targeted agent vemurafenib currently is being used in the treatment of some patients with metastatic malignant melanoma when their tumor demonstrates BRAF V600 mutation. Should other malignant cutaneous tumors routinely be evaluated for molecular aberrations so that matched therapy can be incorporated into the management of these patients? Should molecular analysis of cutaneous lesions of nonmalignant systemic conditions, such as lupus erythematosus and psoriasis vulgaris, be performed in an attempt to discover disease-associated molecular aberrations that may (1) provide additional insight into the pathogenesis of the condition and (2) possibly elucidate targeted personalized dermatologic therapy for these individuals?