Accessible molecular testing contributing to better outcomes for Manitobans

May 16, 2023

Molecular testing has become more accessible for Manitobans living with cancer after physicians saw its importance in providing patients with the best possible treatment, based on their genetic profile.

CCMB researchers conducted a study to test the effectiveness of a new class of medications, PARP inhibitors, in treating metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer patients with alterations within BRCA and ATM genes. These abnormalities are present in approximately 5–20% of patients. As part of this study, physicians obtained molecular testing that patients would otherwise have had to pay to access.

The study found that PARP inhibitor treatment was effective in patients with BRCA alterations, but it also had a more immediate impact in highlighting the benefits of accessible molecular testing. Specifically, it highlighted how making molecular testing a standard step for patients with advanced prostate cancer could help more patients get more effective treatments and contribute to better outcomes. Utilizing this insight, CCMB has started testing more patients with metastatic prostate cancer for BRCA alterations.

Molecular testing has become a fast-growing aspect of oncology in recent years, with an increasing number of new treatments targeting specific abnormalities for many types of cancers.

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