> Back to EJC

Recent editions

  • June 2016
    Key advances in clinical trials.
  • May 2016
    Mark Lemmon on the underlying biochemistry of cancer.
  • April 2016
    Roger Stupp on using alternating electric fields as treatment.
  • March 2016
    Charlotte Vrinten on public perception of deaths from cancer.
  • February 2016
    Guillermo Garcia-Manero on myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
  • December 2015/January 2016
    Nazneen Rahman on germline genetic screening in ovarian cancer.
  • November 2015
    Caroline Robert on new developments in immunotherapy.
  • October 2015
    Milena Sant on the latest results from the EUROCARE study.
  • September 2015
    The science behind the IARC code that could reduce cancer in Europe.
  • July/August 2015
    Thomas Helleday on an exciting new class of drug, MTH1 inhibitors.
  • June 2015
    Lesley Seymour and Jan Bogaerts on the future of RECIST.
  • May 2015
    Paul Workman on strategies for overcoming resistance to new drugs.
  • April 2015
    Highlights from the TAT Congress in Paris.
  • March 2015
    Christopher Wild on the exposome, a measure of environmental exposure.

> All 2015 Editions

> All 2014 Editions

> All 2013 Editions

> All 2012 Editions

> All 2011 Editions

EJC News Focus – December 2013

Loading EJC News Focus video

Precision diagnostics: great potential but is Europe falling behind?

Molecular diagnostics are becoming increasingly important as oncology moves from an era of stratification to personalisation; precision medicine will develop hand in hand with new diagnostic techniques. But according to ESMO President Martine Piccart, there is 'a high unmet need' for molecular diagnostics in Europe. Pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to invest in their development, she says, mainly because of the lack of a clear regulatory path, but also because of the reluctance among oncologists to use available tests.

The groundbreaking SHIVA trial is an excellent example of the central role of the new diagnostics: patients' treatment is determined only by the molecular profile of their tumour, without reference to its anatomical location. Christophe Le Tourneau (Institut Curie, Paris) presented early data at the European Cancer Conference (Amsterdam, Sept 27 – Oct 1, 2013), which hints at the promise of this approach.

In this month's EJC News Focus, Martine Piccart outlines to Helen Saul the cultural and practical changes that will be necessary to drive the development of diagnostics in Europe, and Christophe Le Tourneau demonstrates how these new precision diagnostics could drive progress in oncology.