New ASCO University® Tumor Genomics Program Helps Cancer Care Providers Increase Their Understanding of Next-Generation Sequencing

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Stephen M. Keefe, MD

Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH

The [Tumor Genomics Program] has been designed to help clinical oncology investigators and practitioners efficiently keep on top of the rapidly changing field of tumor genomic characterization.

—Stephen M. Keefe, MD

Innovation in the field of genomic assessment and characterization has rapidly progressed in recent years. As next-generation sequencing increasingly becomes a standard of care, it is vital for cancer care providers to develop a deeper understanding of its research and clinical applications. For busy clinicians, this can be difficult to keep up with—especially as technology quickly evolves.

In response to this need, ASCO University® recently introduced a Tumor Genomics Program to its suite of resources. The program is designed to increase knowledge in the area of tumor genomics, particularly regarding somatic genomic alterations that drive tumor progression and have implications for clinical research and patient care. The Tumor Genomics program was created to complement the ASCO University Cancer Genetics Program, which was released in 2014.

“The ASCO University Tumor Genomics Program has been designed to help clinical oncology investigators and practitioners efficiently keep on top of the rapidly changing field of tumor genomic characterization,” said Stephen M. Keefe, MD, of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Lead Planner and faculty member of the ASCO University Tumor Genomics Program. “Developed by experts in the field, the program’s content covers methods and the laboratory environment, as well as the interpretation and the significance of results.”

The Tumor Genomics Program, consisting of six slide-based courses accompanied by audio commentary from expert faculty, provides a comprehensive collection of presentations on a number of important topics regarding genomic methods in cancer. Topics covered include next-generation sequencing technologies, the bioinformatics pipeline, applicability and limitations of results reporting, the laboratory environment, and resources available for use in contextualizing findings and moving forward with results.

“Oncology is at an interesting crossroads. On one hand, we are witnessing an explosion of genomic data that could be potentially actionable. On the other hand, there is a dearth of tools to guide an oncologist on how to apply this clinically to help chose the ‘right drug for the right patient,’” said Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bardia serves as a faculty member of the ASCO Molecular Oncology Tumor Boards, as well as an Associate Editor on the ASCO University Editorial Board.

“For example, if a tumor has a mutations in X, Y, and Z, should one choose a drug against X, or Y, or Z? How does one identify driver from passenger mutations? How does one address the issue of tumor heterogeneity? These are some of the issues that we struggle with on a daily basis, so it is great that ASCO University has created this program to address some of these questions,” said Dr. Bardia.

The Tumor Genomics Program may be taken for continuing medical education/continuing education credit. For more information, visit ■

Originally printed in ASCO Connection. © American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Increase Your Understanding of Next-Generation Sequencing with New ASCO University® Tumor Genomics Program” All rights reserved.