Resistance mutations are a growing area of concern in cancer care because they can render targeted therapies ineffective.

In some cases, a patient may innately have mutations conferring resistance to certain cancer treatments. These mutations mean that certain cancer therapies will not work for that patient. For others, a treatment may work as long as a year, but as resistance mutations develop, the therapy begins to lose its effectiveness and the patient’s cancer begins to progress again. Accurate detection of resistance mutations is critical to help physicians make fast, informed treatment decisions and monitor their patients on an ongoing basis to ensure that the chosen therapy remains effective.

Resistance mutations have become an important focus for Insight Genetics because they are a significant concern for patients who are prescribed ALK inhibitors. Research has shown that almost all patients develop some level of resistance to the currently approved ALK inhibitor in as little as one year of initial treatment. We have an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for detection of mutations in the ALK gene that indicate resistance to ALK inhibitors, which has aided in the development of our  Insight ALK Resistance™ assay. 

This resistance trend has, unfortunately, been observed across many targeted gene therapies and is likely to plague cancer treatment long into the future. In addition to our ALK program, we’re currently developing tests for diagnosis and long-term resistance monitoring of many biomarkers that have demonstrated activity in the proliferation of cancer, including ROS1, RET and CMET.

To learn more about resistance mutations, contact us