By Robert LaCaze
Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division
Head of the Oncology Strategic Business Unit
At the recent ASCO congress, the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, I had the opportunity to connect in various meetings and discussions with the Oncology Community. Building on this year’s theme of ASCO “Caring for Every Patient, Learning from Every Patient” one of the focus areas this year again was precision oncology and the promise but also challenges that some of these advancements bear. In that regard, I was honored to participate in a panel at the sideline of the congress with renowned colleagues to discuss the future of precision medicine in oncology. I wanted to share some key insights that I took away from the meeting:
1. Progress against cancer is at a critical turning point
It’s an exciting time, as a wave of innovation in precision medicine is starting to shift cancer treatment from the traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach for large patient groups to tailored treatments for individual patients. We are used to hearing about cancer based on the location of the tumor, such as breast, prostate or lung. Today, we are on the verge of a paradigm shift with a true, tumor-agnostic approach to treatment, where we’re developing medicines to treat patients based on the genomic profile of their tumors, and select the best treatment choice for their patient.