Clinical decision support tools will help oncologists manage complexity

Making treatment decisions is a tough choice for oncologists: a therapy might save or significantly extend one patient’s life but not deliver the desired outcome for another patient. Reaching this decision involves weighing a variety of data – from clinical trials to the patient’s medical background – and with the advent of more personalised oncology, the sheer volume of data that needs to be considered is growing exponentially.

When we speak to oncologists, the most consistent feedback we hear is that the complexity of information is increasing and we need support to access it faster, more efficiently and in a more targeted manner.

Consider how precision oncology will fundamentally change the way cancer patients are treated. First, instead of looking at the organ of the cancer’s origin only, doctors are going to pay more attention to the patient’s genomic characteristics and the medical history when deciding on the most effective cancer therapy. With next-generation sequencing technologies now broadly available, it is easier than ever before to understand the genomic variants of a cancer. We expect many new therapies based on the molecular profile of a tumour to come to the market in the next three to five years; for some indications it could be two or three times as many therapies compared to today.

All the ‘new’ data that is becoming available is driving therapeutic decisions in oncology.

• Read the full article in pharmaphorum’s Deep Dive digital magazine