Over the years, cancer research has deepened the understanding of how genetic mutations and molecular changes to cancer cells uniquely impact each cancer case. While cancer treatment was once evaluated based upon the tumor site in patients, (i.e., breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc.,) medical oncologists are finding that there are many genetic mutations that present the same regardless of tumor site, which has revolutionized how many doctors think about cancer treatment today.
Dr. Timothy McCarthy of Virginia Cancer Specialists (VCS), who is the Director of Virginia Cancer Specialists’ Molecular Tumor Board, takes an in-depth approach to cancer treatment to ensure his patients receive personalized treatment by coordinating a Molecular Tumor Board with other medical oncologists and experts from Caris Life Sciences, a leading innovator in molecular science and artificial intelligence who focus on precision oncology through advanced laboratory testing, including tumor profiling, and blood-based cancer diagnostics.
Molecular Tumor Boards are groups of medical professionals who discuss a variety of cancer cases, including hard-to-treat, complex cancers, to determine an effective, personalized course of treatment for a patient based on their genetic profile. The purpose of the Tumor Board that Dr. McCarthy leads, is to bring together multidisciplinary cancer experts who can determine and advise the best treatment plan for a patient that is case-specific, opposed to a generalized course of action solely based on cancer type.
Virginia Cancer Specialists’ Molecular Tumor Board reviews a variety of cases across a variety of cancer types. While there is not a specific determining factor that distinguishes which cases are discussed by the board, treating physicians are responsible for bringing forward cases that need a broader look, or in some cases, where most treatment efforts have been exhausted.
Dr. McCarthy and Virginia Cancer Specialists offer patients an important opportunity to review each patient’s molecular profile to determine which treatments and medications will be most successful. The analysis and discussion that takes place in the Molecular Tumor Board ensures that doctors can make informed decisions on cancer treatment that is personalized to each patient and their specific genetics.