Genomics has come a long way from the days of being primarily a discovery tool.
It used be that essentially all of the genomic data that was being produced as part of clinical trials was purely exploratory in nature. We're doing a great deal of that now, there's no doubt about that. However, now we're actually translating those into real uses. So for example, we might have specific markers that we're using for patient selection. We might have specific markers that are candidates for eventual development companion diagnostic and so we are taking them into clinical trials, characterizing them further.
Dr. Hurban discusses the use of broad genomic features such as microsatellite instability and tumor mutational burden as biomarkers in addition to specific point mutations that have been in use for some time.
He envisions a future where a multidisciplinary approach leads to a companion therapeutic strategy as opposed to a companion diagnostic strategy. In this approach, a single test could direct a patient into any of a number of therapies rather than testing the possibility of one therapy at a time.