New testing technologies, especially those based on genomics research, are essential in the effort to personalize medicine, to help ensure that the patients most likely to benefit from a given therapy are selected.
But their clinical application must be based on evidence of the effectiveness of those tests, according to a commentary by Kathryn Phillips, PhD, UCSF professor of clinical pharmacy, which appears in the Dec. 3, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Phillips cites successes and obstacles in using HER2 tests, which identify the 20 percent to 30 percent of breast cancer patients who overexpress the HER2 gene and for whom therapy using Herceptin (trastuzumab) is highly successful.
Closing the Evidence Gap in the Use of Emerging Testing Technologies in Clinical Practice
Kathryn A. Phillips
JAMA, (Dec. 3, 2008) 300(21):2542-2544