Precision Testing Project
The understanding and characterisation of the various types of cancer has very rapidly evolved in the last years. Mechanisms leading to uncontrolled cellular proliferations, invasiveness and metastatic processes are better understood and, in some cases, resulted in the discovery of novel specific treatments. Furthermore, cellular modifications leading to an anti-tumor immune response allow for new therapeutic approaches. Traditional tissue of origin diagnostic and tumor staging is not enough for an accurate diagnosis and high-quality pathology including, when appropriate, molecular characterisation of tumors is needed to make the best treatment choice and thus increase quality of life and treatment results for patients.
Unfortunately, knowledge of the needed tests and their potential role in guiding treatment choices as well as accessibility and reimbursement of these tests is still rather poor. From drug target evaluation to molecular oncology and advanced genomics, precision testing is aimed at enabling the administration of the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, leading to a better outcome. Some tests also help to avoid unnecessary treatment and reduce costs, including the unacceptable cost and stress of patients receiving an ineffective therapy that could be avoided. From the healthcare system perspective, precision testing brings more certainty on treatment outcomes and improves the sustainability and efficiency of healthcare. From the patient perspective, precision testing brings the possibility to find the best possible treatments and improves outcomes and quality of life.
However, due to regulatory, access and reimbursement barriers, even well proven precision testing is not offered to all patients in Europe, not speaking of the global level. There is also a lack of infrastructure needed to support and take advantage of genomic and molecular testing, including the development of networks to discuss the implications of the results in specific tumor boards. Even in countries where the infrastructure does exist, there is a need for adequate information, knowledge, and awareness of health care providers as well as education and empowerment of patients in order to ensure proper molecular characterisation of every patient’s tumor.
Aim and Vision
The Precision Testing Project (PTP) pursues the goal to increase knowledge and awareness among clinicians and patients (represented by patient organizations members) but also among all healthcare providers on how specific characterisation of cancers can improve the choice of the most appropriate treatment and lead to better outcomes.
The PTP will be a platform of mutual learning and exchange among all the stakeholders and will identify and outline the key messages and the content of the educational material needed to improve the appropriate use of precision testing. The PTP will be independently managed by SPCC who will help to develop educational materials as video webinars and an educational event to educate and empower patient advocates, health care providers and societies with knowledge about molecular cancer characterisation.
The long-term vision is to enable every clinician and patient to get appropriate state-of-the-art characterization of his or her tumor and in turn to ensure access to the best possible and most efficacious treatment for all patients.
In addition, empowered, knowledgeable and engaged patients and patient organisations together with healthcare providers and professional societies, will be able to efficiently advocate with policy makers and help overcome some of the barriers affecting precision testing access, availability and reimbursement.
Six video webinars on Precision Testing will be carried out by SPCC in 2021.
- “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in breast cancer”
on demand: available from 3 February 2021
Co-chairs: G. Pruneri, IT; M. Zambon, IT
Welcome and introduction – G. Pruneri, IT
1st presentation: “Meaningful approach to breast cancer tissue” - A. Batistatou, GR
2nd presentation: “Testing for treatment decision (predictive; prognostic; genetic)” - F. Penault-Llorca, FR
3rd presentation: “HER-2 positivity: what are the implications with new drugs” - G. Curigliano, IT
4th presentation: “What marker for what drug(s)” - J. Gligorov, FR
5th presentation: “What TESTS and what implications in "TRIPLE NEGATIVE" BrCa” - N. Harbeck, DE
- “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in lung cancer”
on demand: available from 10 March 2021 – 6.00 PM CET
Co-chairs: S. Novello, IT; A. M. Baird, IE
Welcome and introduction – S. Novello, IT
1st presentation: “The minimal testing needed, quality control” – U. Pastorino, IT
2nd presentation: “Testing for treatment decision” – N. Normanno, IT
3rd presentation: “How to evaluate NSCLC for immunotherapy” – G. Scagliotti, IT
4th presentation: “Markers for specific drugs” – J. Remon-Masip, SP
5th presentation: “What is the real value of "next generation sequencing" in lung cancer” – K. Kerr, UK
- “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in colorectal cancer” - Coming Soon
- “New precision testing methodologies (NGS, CGP, circulating tumor cells)” - Coming Soon
- “Improving accessibility to precision testing and measuring impact” - Coming Soon
- “Best practices/state-of-the-art in precision testing in other cancers” - Coming Soon
Each webinar will consist of: one introductory video and five videos recorded by experts focusing on different topics.
The recorded videos, as well as educational material produced by a medical writer, will be made available on the SPCC website. At the end of the six webinars, the medical writer will summarise the outcomes in a position paper that will be produced for publication in a peer review journal. The webinars are made possible thanks to unrestricted educational grants from Bio-Pharma companies, and CME accreditation will be granted.
Following the outcome of the webinars, SPCC will organize an educational meeting on the topic.
Event dates and details on the venue will be available soon.