Introduction: Clinical implications of clonal evolution and personalising therapy


Session type:

Faith Davies
The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK


Many of the sessions at this year's Conference will highlight the impact that new technologies have had on the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer. Themes will include the identification of new lesions that are important in the initiation of cancer, that have prognostic significance or have potential as a therapeutic target and the identification of clonal heterogeneity. However, one of the key issues moving forward is how this wealth of information may be utilised in the clinic for patient benefit.

This session will explore some of these themes and importantly will discuss their implications for personalised medicine. The session will use the haematological malignancies as a model; however, the issues discussed will clearly be important in the coming years for both liquid and solid tumours.

The session will concentrate on two different malignancies, one which has been using risk adjusted therapy for a number of years - acute myeloid leukaemia (AML); and the other which is now embracing this approach - multiple myeloma.

The recent data has implications for both cancers, particularly as to how the expensive technologies can be translated into everyday diagnostic practice, the clinical significance of some of the identified abnormalities, as well as the significance and potential impact of clonal heterogeneity on targeted therapy.