The use of genomic profiling and testing in cancer is helping clinicians and patients better understand the key drivers of a patient’s tumour and inform more precise treatment decisions.

 

However, while many centres in Canada are currently using genomic profiling for cancer, there is no defined national process to guide its wide scale use and funding. Given certain therapies require confirmation of a biomarker, there are also concerns about equitable access to testing, as well as testing turnaround times. In some instances, it can take weeks to months for results to be returned. The lack of a clear framework around when and who should be tested is generating many questions amongst patients and clinicians. 

 

To help understand the different perspectives and values on precision oncology in breast cancer and the role of testing and data, the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) recently published the white paper, Precision Oncology and Breast Cancer: Considering Canada’s Approach in an Evolving Landscape, which shares observations and key takeaways based on interviews with patients and physicians.

 

Recommendations include:

 

  1. A national testing framework to guide and support a stepwise approach to genomic testing for cancer patients and reimbursement for these tests.
  2. Accelerated reviews to adapt the current approval and funding process for innovative therapies that demonstrate large potential magnitude for benefit.
  3. Educational resources including making more widely available and accessible patient resources about precision oncology testing and treatment. 

 

To read more, download the report from CBCN here.

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