ACPE UAN: 0475-0000-15-006-L04-P. A knowledge based activity.
Prof. Olaf Witt: "Personalized Pediatric: what are the targets?"
Prof. Dirk Jäger: "Targeting the immune system"
Dr. Tilman Schöning: "Handling targeted therapies in oncology – which are the main challenges for pharmacists?"
That's the dream: We know everything about a cancer cell, we see that cancer cells differ in genes or cell-surface structures ("biomarker") from healthy cells and we find substances that directly target the cancer cells guided by their different structures. That is what targeted therapy is all about. That is also what should be the benefit of targeted therapy over standard un-targeted chemotherapy with their high rate of sometimes severe side effects. Targeted therapy can and are already used also in other diseases than cancer. There are some examples in the field of auto-immune diseases like rheumatism.
The question now is: Will this dream come true and will we be able to afford the therapy? First of all we have to realize that targets are not always easy to find. In most cases it is not always one biomarker ("target") which is responsible for forming cancer. E.g. in chronic myelogenous leukemia 90% of patients will have one singular chromosomal variation whereas in pancreatic cancer any of the 2500 genes could be changed.
In the field of cancer we have to ask ourselves the following three core questions:
1. Which biomarkers or targets do we already know and what is their impact in cancer?
2. Are the new targeted therapies compared to the "old cancer therapies" of benefit in terms of patient outcome?
3. What is the financial impact of those new targeted therapies on the health systems in the different countries and will solidarity systems be able to pay for those therapies?
The synergy satellite on targeted therapy will give an answer on those questions.
To name the different targets or biomarkers of diseases already treated with targeted therapy;
To describe the different ways targeted therapy can work;
To judge the possible outcome of targeted therapy in cancer treatment;
To differentiate targeted therapy from "old chemotherapy" in cancer.
After attending this synergy satellite attendants will be able:
to list possible targets for cancer therapy;
to define the problems with targeted therapy in terms of economics and patient outcome;
to classify the preconditions for targeted therapy.