Revisiting Expectations in an Era of Precision Oncology

Emily J. Marchiano, Andrew C. Birkeland, Paul L. Swiecicki, Kayte Spector-Bagdady, Andrew G. Shuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


As we enter an era of precision medicine and targeted therapies in the treatment of metastatic cancer, we face new challenges for patients and providers alike as we establish clear guidelines, regulations, and strategies for implementation. At the crux of this challenge is the fact that patients with advanced cancer may have disproportionate expectations of personal benefit when participating in clinical trials designed to generate generalizable knowledge. Patient and physician goals of treatment may not align, and reconciliation of their disparate perceptions must be addressed. However, it is particularly challenging to manage a patient's expectations when the goal of precision medicine—personalized response—exacerbates our inability to predict outcomes for any individual patient. The precision medicine informed consent process must therefore directly address this issue. We are challenged to honestly, clearly, and compassionately engage a patient population in an informed consent process that is responsive to their vulnerability, as well as ever-evolving indications and evidence. This era requires a continual reassessment of expectations and goals from both sides of the bed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-388
Number of pages3
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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