Molecular classification for stratification and improved clinical management of endometrial cancers

In the current landscape of endometrial cancers (ECs), there is a shortfall in the management, treatment and evaluation of EC patients. Treatment tends to not be standardized, patients are commonly over- or under-treated, and diverse ECs are grouped together in clinical trials. Because of this inconsistency in diagnosis, it is difficult, if not impossible, to properly assess and compare how different treatments work.

In response to this gap, Dr. McAlpine has developed a molecular-based classifier called "ProMiSE” –  Proactive Molecular Risk Classifier for Endometrial Cancer, which assigns EC patients to one of four prognostic groups. This classification would greatly improve the reproducibility and reliability of pathological diagnoses of endometrial tumours. The tool can be used to help categorize ECs into different risk classes to help guide surgery, treatment and surveillance based on the molecular features of the individual cancer. It can also identify women who may have inherited conditions placing them at increased risk of other cancers.

The next step for ProMisE is making the tool available across Canada. Although it is low cost and uses methods familiar to pathology laboratories, one of the testing components is currently unobtainable outside of a research lab setting. Dr. McAlpine is currently working with a Vancouver-based company to acquire, add and test this component in order to make ProMisE widely available.

Then, collaborating with eight other cancer centres across Canada, Dr. McAlpine will collect EC data, classify the data with ProMisE, and compare the treatment given with how molecular classification would have directed care.

This study is the last step in bringing this new molecular test to clinical use. With access to ProMisE, not only will there be immediate changes to how women with EC are managed, but it will allow the design of new studies to define the best, most personalized therapies for every woman with EC.