New ESMO tumor DNA scale helps match patients with cancer to optimal targeted medicines
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IMAGE: This is the ESCAT grading system for cancer treatment decision-making view more 

Credit: European Society for Medical Oncology

Lugano, Switzerland- 21 August 2018 – A new scale for tumour DNA mutations which will simplify and standardise choices for targeted cancer treatment has been agreed by leading cancer specialists in Europe and North America. The scale, called ESCAT (ESMO Scale for Clinical Actionability of molecular Targets), is published this week in the Annals of Oncology (1). It aims to optimise patient care by making it easier to identify patients with cancer who are likely to respond to precision medicines, and help make treatment more cost effective.

“Doctors receive a growing amount of information about the genetic make-up of each patient’s cancer, but this can be difficult to interpret for making optimal treatment choices,” explains Professor Fabrice André, Chair of the ESMO Translational Research and Precision Medicine Working Group (2) who initiated this project. “The new scale will help us distinguish between alterations in tumour DNA that are important for decisions about targeted medicines or access to clinical trials, and those which aren’t relevant.”

The new grading system classes alterations in tumour DNA according to their relevance as markers for

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