ACORN Research held their annual investigator meeting inMemphison March 2-3. The meeting was attended by over 100 research staff, and included physicians and nurses from ACORN Network Sites across the country. The largest group came from The West Clinic, the flagship site for the ACORN Network. The meeting focused on the growing complexity of clinical trials in oncology, and the need to match patients to trial opportunities most likely to provide an optimal treatment response. ACORN is introducing a program to facilitate the molecular characterization of tumor tissue early in a patient’s evaluation so that comprehensive biomarker data is available in time to inform clinical care decisions.
A key presentation was made by Dr. Lee Schwartzberg on the coming era of ‘precision oncology’ that will match treatments to the genetics of the individual tumor. Because most of the agents that are targeted based on molecular tumor characteristics are still in development, having access to a broad portfolio of research studies is needed to provide patients with the best possible outcomes. As these agents are approved for standard use, the technological processes used to match patients to research trials will be used to match patients to the best available treatment regimen. A broad collaboration by oncologists, pathologists, and research teams is needed to support this new model of oncology care delivery. The West Clinic is the lead site in implementing this new model as designed by ACORN Research.