Medical Moment: Clinical trial match maker

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Millions of people look through a large list of clinical trials each month, trying to find a new treatment or procedure to help them or their loved one.

But how do you know which one is the right one for you? Now, new technology is using genetic testing to make the perfect match.

Andy Simon is a proud cancer survivor, ribbon wearing man! Andy was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer.

“He doesn’t have long. That was my first thought,” says Amy Simon, Andy’s wife.

But after surgery and taking part in a novel clinical trial, five years out, there’s no reoccurrence of Andy’s cancer.

“There was no doubt in my mind that that clinical trial helped him,” Amy says.

But there are more than 1,600 clinical trials happening right now for glioblastoma patients.

“It’s not so much about rushing the treatment but rushing to the right treatment,” says Joel Saltzman, medical oncologist at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.

New technology called genomoncology precision decision works like a match maker, taking the genetic sequencing of the patient and running it through a database.

“We can look at numerous genes that predict what might respond to therapies,” Saltzman says. “Rather than telling them about the standard treatment, I actually know walking in the door that, hey, we have this great study.”

Andy and his wife believe his clinical trial saved his life. “I believe in my heart that, all of that, he went through is the reason that he’s here today,” Amy says.

To celebrate his last treatment, Andy put on a cape to proudly show his superman status. “My famous line is now set to kick its ass,” Andy says. “And we’ve been doing it since, as a team.”

And they’ll continue to kick cancer.

Experts believe the technology will also help to increase the clinical trial success rates by matching the right patients with the right therapies.

Copyright 2021 WNDU. All rights reserved.