A new cancer scale has been developed to optimise patient care and make treatment cost-effective. Called ESCAT (ESMO Scale for Clinical Actionability of Molecular Targets) the scale will help doctors identify patients with cancer who are expected to respond to precision medicines particularly tailored for their needs.

The project, introduced by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), will let doctors pinpoint changes to a tumour’s DNA, allowing for flexibility in treatment that will ensure each patient gets the most appropriate care at all stages. ‘Doctors receive a growing amount of information about the genetic makeup of each patient’s cancer. The new scale will help us distinguish between alterations in tumour DNA that are important for decisions about targeted medicines or access to clinical trials and those which aren’t relevant,’ says Fabrice André, chair of the ESMO Translational Research and Precision Medicine Working Group, that initiated this project.