Cancer Services Big
February 4. 2022

Fight against cancer: 40% of the European population could soon be affected

Every minute, 20 people around the world die from cancer. It is estimated that by 2035, 40% of the EU population could be affected by cancer in their lifetime. Oncompass Medicine is celebrating this year's World Cancer Day - 4 February - with a recent scientific publication in the US, which tells the story of the successful targeted treatment of one of their cancer patients.

The founding researchers of Oncompass Medicine (OCM), Dr. István Peták and Dr. Richárd Schwab, as international pioneers of precision oncology, have been fighting together with their team for decades to treat cancer patients with personalized, targeted therapy based on the root causes.

To this end, OCM has also developed an artificial intelligence-based software tool to help doctors choose the most effective targeted treatment for each cancer patient based on the individual molecular profile of the tumor. The team at Oncompass Medicine recently published a scientific paper in JCO Precision Oncology, the American Society of Oncology's journal on precision oncology, which tells the story of a successful targeted treatment for one of their cancer patients

Dr István Peták, OCM's Scientific Director, said, "Our US scientific publication details how medical and bioinformatics analysis of gene defects in tumours can be used to select the most effective, personalised, targeted treatments for patients, and even to discover exactly what caused the tumour.

In addition to the importance of molecular diagnostics and artificial intelligence, the case study also highlights the importance of the molecular tumourboard, which is a close collaboration between oncologists, surgeons, radiotherapists, molecular biologists and molecular pharmacologists."

Targeted therapy helped the tumour shrink back

According to the scientific article, in 2015, a 70-year-old patient was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the head, behind the ear. Despite successful surgical removal and radiotherapy, the tumour recurred in 2016 and was treated with chemotherapy, but this could only slow down its growth

This was when the patient underwent his first molecular diagnostic test, which revealed the amplification of a gene, PIK3CA, which is often involved in tumour formation.  The medical team treating the patient met for the first time with experts from Oncompass Medicine in a "Molecular Tumourboard" session to discuss personalized treatment options.

They also used the Realtime Oncology Treatment Calculator, an artificial intelligence-based software developed by Oncompass, to help them select the targeted treatment. Together, they selected a targeted drug that acted on a gene linked to the altered PIK3CA gene. The targeted therapy helped the tumour shrink back. The improvement lasted until mid-2018, when the tumour started to grow again. At that time, the tumour board decided to perform a multigene molecular diagnostic test, as a tumour is caused by not just one, but on average four to five gene defects, and in this case they had only been aware of one gene defect until then.

The polygenic analysis identifies fourteen more gene defects

Of these, the informatics analysis suggested a biological role for five genes. On this basis, the expert group recommended a new targeted treatment to inhibit the mutant MEK gene. The combined treatment resulted in the tumour to go undetectable. The combined treatment was continued for another six months until mid-2019. After that, one drug was enough to stop the tumour from growing again. Bioinformatics analysis of the types of mutations found in the genes also showed that the gene defects were most likely caused by UV radiation, rather than smoking, alcohol or other medications the patient was taking.

Several prestigious awards

Oncompass Medicine has received several prestigious national and international innovation awards for the development of the Realtime Oncology Treatment Calculator. In 2019, Oncompass Medicine received the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) Award and won the Get in the Ring! V4 competition. In 2020, in addition to the IT Innovation Award, OCM received the Tibor Gyurós Award, and in 2021, as Europe's most promising technology company, it won the Unicorn of the Future Award. Dr. István Peták received the award from the European Commissioner for Innovation and Research on World Cancer Day just a year ago.

Remenár É, Dóczi R, Dirner A, Sipos A, Perjési A, Tihanyi D, Vodicska B, Lakatos D, Horváth K, Kajáry K, Schwáb R, Déri J, Lengyel CG, Várkondi E, Vályi-Nagy I, Peták I. Lasting Complete Clinical Response of a Recurring Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma With MEK Mutation and PIK3CA Amplification Achieved by Dual Trametinib and Metformin Therapy. JCO Precis Oncol. 2022 Jan;6:e2100344. doi: 10.1200/PO.21.00344. PMID: 35005996.

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Oncompass Medicine is a Hungarian medical enterprise dealing with the development of decision support and diagnostic medical devices that help the personalized treatment of cancer patients. 

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