Conquering Complexity: The Coming Revolution in Oncology Biomarker Testing

BioWhen it comes to the fight against cancer, we are on the cusp of a revolution. In this article, Pieter De Richter – Ipsos Healthcare’s Head of Oncology Molecular Diagnostics – explores how cancer treatment will change in the coming decades.

The clinical management of cancer patients has undergone a remarkable evolution in the past decade, with the concept of personalized medicine now well-entrenched in the treatment paradigm of a significant number of tumor types. Whereas treatment decisions used to rely on a combination of clinical observations, various macro-imaging techniques and general histopathological findings, oncologists now have a range of biomarker tests at their disposal to make a more informed drug choice.

However, despite the advent of targeted therapies and the associated rise in the use of companion and complementary diagnostics, we are only just emerging from the initial exploratory stages of oncology biomarker testing. As will be argued in this paper, we are on the cusp of a much more radical revolution, and the molecular diagnostics landscape – and indeed the very way we think about fighting cancer – is set to change dramatically in the coming decades.

In this paper, Pieter De Richter – Head of Ipsos Healthcare’s Oncology Molecular Diagnostics (MDx) Portfolio – explores the future of cancer treatment, drawing upon data from Ipsos’ syndicated real world evidence portfolio, and specifically:

  • Ipsos Solid Tumors MDx Monitor – Q3 2015, Q1 2016, Q3 2016
  • Ipsos Pan-Cancer Testing Monitor – Q3, 2016

He concludes thus: to assume that the same logistical touch points, stakeholders, market forces and dynamics that shape the Oncology MDx market now are going to remain relevant in the coming decades would be a risk indeed.


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