As medicine has changeover into the precision period of time, the scientific community acknowledge now more than ever how crucial it is to treat patients separately. In addition to the significant progress that the community has made in defining upfront those patients most likely to respond to drugs with genetic techniques, there is an urgent unmet clinical requirement to define biomarkers that can be conveniently applied post-therapy to demonstrate the extent of target inhibition by a drug.
Dr. Evans is skilled in biomarker discovery and biomarker development for imaging. He and his group develop new radiologic tools to monitor the activity of the main drivers of disease. The overall goal of his research is to make an archive of imageable biomarkers that can selectively measure the activity of all disease drivers.
Dr. Evans argues that his research is an essential yet understudied component of precision medicine. “When it comes to drug development, knowing the extent to which drugs are inhibiting their target is critically important. We know this because of data collected from a recent clinical trial in melanoma—the drug Zelboraf® required careful study of its dosing to maximize target inhibition to ultimately achieve FDA approval. It is a difficult challenge to develop imaging tools to monitor target inhibition for other drugs, but this challenge needs our immediate attention.”
He also points out that radiologic tools are uniquely appropriate to monitor disease response to drugs. “Radiologic tools have a special place in clinical diagnostics because they have the capacity to non-invasively measure biological changes induced by the drug within the diseased cell. The biopsy can also achieve this, but post-therapy biopsies are rare and heavily burden the patient. Circulating biomarkers can be sampled non-invasively, but they do not report on the biology occurring within the diseased cell. At UCSF, we have had great success motivating patients to voluntarily participate in a post-therapy scan, because the imposition on the patient is very minimal, and the information gleaned from such a scan can be highly informative.”
International Conference on Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
September 20-22, 2018
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