Research Published in JCO Precision Oncology Found Only 40 Percent of Patients with Metastatic Colon Cancer Receive Guideline-Recommended Biomarker Testing

BOSTON, Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Well-established medical guidelines recommend biomarker testing for all patients with metastatic colon cancer, but new research shows this may not be consistent with actual patterns of care. COTA, Inc., a healthcare technology company that uses real-world data (RWD) to bring clarity to cancer care, recently collaborated on a study published in JCO Precision Oncology about recommended biomarker testing in patients with metastatic colon cancer. Researchers found that only 40 percent of patients with metastatic colon cancer in COTA’s database received recommended biomarker testing. Suboptimal genotyping rates were previously observed in metastatic lung cancer patients.

As a result of underutilized biomarker testing, the multi-center, retrospective study found that many patients with metastatic colon cancer are potentially being treated with less effective drugs that may have serious side effects. Other patients may not be receiving highly effective personalized treatment options. The research also concluded that certain subgroups of patients were less likely to be tested than others, particularly those who are men, older than 65 years of age, progressed from early-stage disease, or treated in a community cancer center. Using a comprehensive panel, as opposed to single gene testing, could possibly result in a significant increase in guideline-recommended testing rates.

“Current medical guidelines recommended multigene mutation testing for metastatic colon cancer patients to ensure patients are receiving the optimal treatment available, but it seems like a majority of these patients – even those who are receiving targeted treatments – are not being comprehensively tested,” said Stuart Goldberg, MD, a lead study investigator from Hackensack University Medical Center who served as chief scientific officer at COTA, Inc. during the project. “Recently, we’ve been able to see the promise of personalized medicine for achieving better outcomes, but proper genomic testing is needed in order to realize these benefits and to improve overall patient outcomes.”

COTA’s real-world data was the only data source that was used for the study which analyzed the de-identified information of 1,497 patients with metastatic colon cancer. Working alongside Guardant Health, COTA performed the data analysis focused on demographic, diagnostic, treatment, and quality-of-care information for patients with colon cancer taken from electronic health records from 23 practices. Prior to this study, COTA and Guardant Health collaborated on a similar published study focused on the undergenotyping of metastatic lung cancer patients in the community setting.

“Newly-available targeted therapies routinely help patients with metastatic colorectal cancer extend their lives, but these treatments cannot be applied unless comprehensive genotyping is routinely performed,” said Richard Lanman, MD, Guardant Health Global Chief Medical Officer. “Just as concerning as the lack of testing was that 28 percent of patients received targeted treatments without being tested, and for many, we would have known in advance that the treatment was not going to work. At Guardant we are committed to helping reverse this trend by educating oncologists and offering Guardant360, a non-invasive and comprehensive genomic testing solution that overcomes the limitations of tissue biopsies.”

Guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommend biomarker testing for all patients with metastatic colon cancer to screen for microsatellite instability (MSI) and genomic alterations in KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, ERBB2 (HER2), and NTRK to guide more effective treatment decisions. Targeted therapies and immunotherapies have been shown to improve clinical outcomes when specific genomic biomarkers are present. Professional guidelines continue to be updated as new therapies come to market with increased awareness that certain patients may benefit from more personalized treatments.

“Past research has shown that in specific cancers, comprehensive genomic testing can dramatically improve the therapy selection process in order to get patients on the best treatment path possible,” said Andrew Norden, MD, Chief Medical Officer at COTA. “Thanks to new insights available through real-world data, we are able to determine that a majority of patients who may benefit are not receiving the recommended genomic testing. Knowing this information, we can now take steps to optimize clinical care.”

About COTA, Inc.
Founded by doctors, engineers and data scientists, COTA is committed to bringing a patient first approach to cancer care through the use of real-world evidence. The Company organizes fragmented, often hidden data from the real world to provide clarity in cancer care. Combining clinical expertise in cancer with proprietary technology and advanced analytics, COTA helps inform decisions and action in oncology. COTA partners with providers, payers, and life science companies to ensure that everyone touched by cancer has a clear path to the right care. To learn more about COTA and how to make better decisions with the right data, visit cotahealthcare.com.

About Guardant Health
Guardant Health is a leading precision oncology company focused on helping conquer cancer globally through use of its proprietary blood tests, vast data sets and advanced analytics. The Guardant Health Oncology Platform leverages capabilities to drive commercial adoption, improve patient clinical outcomes and lower healthcare costs across all stages of the cancer care continuum. Guardant Health has launched liquid biopsy-based Guardant360 and GuardantOMNI tests for advanced stage cancer patients and LUNAR assay for research use and for use in prospective clinical trials. In parallel, Guardant Health is actively exploring the performance of the LUNAR assay in initial studies related to screening and early detection in asymptomatic individuals.