Tackling heterogeneity in advanced cancers will require personalized therapeutic protocols customized for an array of molecular targets unique to each patient. However, many existing therapies are highly toxic and approved for only a limited subset of cancers, so the range of therapeutic combinations for a given cancer is often limited. The Broadspec Clinical Trials will leverage our understanding of the molecular biology of the hallmarks of cancer combined with the principles of precision medicine and network pharmacology to provide physicians with complementary, low-toxicity protocols that can overcome this issue and help them reach a broad-spectrum of rational targets (based on genomic and proteomic information).
This initiative is based on the recent work of a taskforce of 180 cancer researchers from around the globe who developed a framework for a broad-spectrum integrative approach to prevent high-risk cancers, treat refractory cancers and prevent disease relapse. The taskforce identified a great number of natural health products and re-purposed pharmaceuticals that could be used in conjunction with existing standard of care to reach many molecular targets simultaneously. Their work was published in a special issue in Seminars in Cancer Biology (5-Year Impact Factor: 9.530) along with a landmark capstone paper that showed that the approach should be feasible from a safety standpoint and relatively inexpensive to implement.
The Broadspec Clinical Trials will initially focus on some of the most challenging cancers to treat
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (patients at risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia)
- Advanced-stage ovarian cancer
- Advanced-stage pancreatic cancer
- Glioblastoma multiforme
Patient protocols will necessitate concurrently administered combinations of many agents using metronomic dosing regimens specifically designed and managed to ensure patient safety. This is a logical next step forward in personalized cancer therapeutics and it should help us take advantage of next generation sequencing information to enhance anti-cancer synergies and improve patient outcomes.