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Bridging science to care: insights on translational studies and our presence at AACR Congress 2024

Translational studies are an essential link that connects scientific discoveries to tangible advancements in patient care. These studies bridge the gap between laboratory research and clinical practice, with the ultimate goal of improving human health. Translational research covers a broad spectrum, from diseases diagnosis to treatment. 

In the realm of cancer research, translational studies have become an integral component of clinical trials, propelling the discovery of new targeted therapies and diagnostic tools, helping to understand treatment resistance, and advancing personalized medicine. Indeed, conducting translational studies within clinical trials is essential for fully harnessing all the clinically relevant results that a trial has to offer. 

MEDSIR team at AACR 2024

The evolution of translational research 

Translational research in oncology has undergone a remarkable evolution, driving important milestones that have reshaped the landscape of cancer care and prevention. From early discoveries establishing the basis for targeted therapies to the latest advances placing immunotherapy at the forefront of cancer treatment, each step forward has been fueled by translational research. 

One of the earliest breakthroughs in translational breast cancer research was derived from the study of its genomic landscape. The identification of hormone receptors, including estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), led to the classification of breast cancer into molecular subtypes. This marked a new era in precision medicine for breast cancer with the introduction of tailored therapies for each subtype, such as trastuzumab and pertuzumab (HER2-targeted therapies). These agents transformed the prognosis for HER2-positive breast cancer patients, significantly improving survival rates and quality of life. 

Current trends in translational research in oncology 

A prevailing trend in translational research within clinical trials is the improvement of personalized medicine. Researchers are progressively exploiting genomic and molecular profiling to categorize tumors more accurately. This allows for the development of customized therapeutic strategies or the identification of patients likely to benefit greater from therapies. Such personalized approaches not only improve treatment effectiveness but also reduce the likelihood of exposing patients to potentially ineffective treatments. 

An increasing emphasis is being placed on the discovery and use of biomarkers, crucial indicators of disease progression, treatment efficacy, and prognosis. Moreover, the development of sophisticated diagnostic tools and tests, such as liquid biopsies and next-generation imaging technologies, holds promise for early detection of cancer recurrence and real-time monitoring of treatment response. Check out our previous articles about biomarkers and liquid biopsies to learn more about these topics. 

Visualization of translational research: the AACR annual meeting 2024 

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting is known for its strong focus on translational studies, providing an excellent platform to showcase the latest advances in translational and clinical research and facilitating collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians. Held this year in San Diego, California, from April 5th to 10th, the MEDSIR team was there to share insights from two of our translational studies, transFAL and METSGain. 

The transFAL study was a set of exploratory studies with the aim of uncovering biomarkers of response or resistance to palbociclib plus endocrine therapy treatment in HR[+]/HER2[-] advanced breast cancer patients. Using samples from our PARSIFAL study, multiple types of biomarkers were analyzed, including gene expression and proteomics, and ctDNA burden and its mutational profile. This study has presented several biomarkers of better response to treatment, based on their correlation with patients’ progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), and a biomarker that is likely to forecast treatment resistance. The findings from transFAL could offer valuable insights for shaping upcoming investigations aimed at understanding resistance mechanisms to CDK4/6 inhibitors. Dive deeper into the findings from transFAL.

Mario Mancino, PhD, presenting at AACR2024 the transFAL study

Focused on HER2[+] early breast cancer, the METSGain study has evaluated the efficacy of the HER2DX tool® in predicting the appearance of metastasis. Developed by Reveal Genomics, HER2DX® is a genetic tool validated for its use in patients with HER2[+] early breast cancer. This test analyzes tumor gene expression and other clinical factors to forecast treatment response and the probability of tumor recurrence. Using samples from our PHERGAIN trial, the METSGAIN study demonstrated that HER2DX® can provide relevant insights about the likelihood of future metastases. Read more about this groundbreaking research.

Mario Mancino, PhD, presenting at AACR2024 the METSGain study

Translational research directly influences clinical decision-making and patient care. For clinicians, access to the latest translational advances empowers informed treatment decisions, guiding therapeutic choices tailored to individual patient needs. For patients, translational research offers hope and optimism, providing access to cutting-edge therapies and personalized approaches that promise improved outcomes and enhanced quality of life. 

Overall, translational research is essential for bringing science from benchtop to bedside. It requires close collaboration between laboratory scientists, clinical researchers, and industry partners to accelerate the development and delivery of innovative cancer therapies. At MEDSIR, we acknowledge this and actively engage in promoting the integration and development of translational studies. Recognizing the significance of visualizing results, we are delighted to have had the opportunity to participate and present two of our studies at a prestigious event like the AACR Congress. 


Contact us to learn more about MEDSIR’s translational studies. 





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