Identifying cancer molecular signatures and understanding how cancer cells hijack cellular pathways is key for a better understanding of cancer disease and for allowing researchers to develop increasingly more efficient anti-cancer strategies.
SPECTAlung is a standardized, molecular screening platform established to store human tumor tissue and characterize their molecular signatures in order to identify new tumors biomarkers, and specifically focused to thoracic tumors. These will then be integrated and tested into clinical trials. The platform is based on a partnership between the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP). A laboratory in Cambridge, United Kingdom – 4M – is the diagnostic lab responsible for screening and identifying the molecular alterations in patients’ participants.
Dr. Benjamin Besse of Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus Grand Paris in Villejuif, France, the study’s coordinator, commented, “SPECTAlung has a number of advantages. First, it allows us to allocate patients to clinical trials based on both their clinical characteristics and the molecular profile of their tumor. Going beyond this, it also will enable us to identify new subgroups of tumors based upon their molecular characteristics. Finally, it will give us the opportunity to conduct further research that might lead to the identification of new biomarkers or help in the planning of future clinical trials.”
This year, SPECTAlung is actively recruiting 500 patients with confirmed thoracic tumors at any stage of the disease, specifically those with confirmed lung cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma, thymoma or thymic carcinoma. In the following years, SPECTAlung expects to increase patient participation and aims to enroll 500 to 1,000 patients per year. The study will allow patients to be matched with the most appropriate clinical trials according to their health status and tumor profile, and will follow up with patients on several key parameters, including progression-free time, survival beyond progression, and effect of treatment sequences.
SPECTAlung is supported by InBev Baillet-Latourand and is coordinated by EORTC Lung Cancer Group and ETOP, in collaboration with the EORTC Pathobiology Group. The study is currently being conducted in 12 countries, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.