Know Your Tumor® FAQs for Healthcare Professionals

Home For Healthcare Professionals Know Your Tumor® Know Your Tumor FAQs for Healthcare Professionals

Why Should I Use Molecular Profiling for My Patient?

There is no roadmap for treating pancreatic cancer. We are learning more about the disease, and new information is discovered every day. What is clear is that pancreatic cancer is heterogeneous and should be treated based on the biology of a patient’s tumor.

Our Know Your Tumor service, provided in partnership with Perthera, is an IRB-approved protocol that provides you with a molecular profiling report of your patient’s tumor. The report includes treatment options, which are determined after report findings are interpreted by an expert panel, providing valuable insight to support your treatment decisions.

Treatment options are personalized to your patient and may include:

  • Targeted therapy, which avoids the toxicity of multi-agent chemotherapy.
  • Appropriate clinical trials, including molecularly targeted solid tumor trials.
  • Off-label treatments that may be particularly effective for your patient’s specific tumor mutations.
  • Standard of care treatments that are compared against biomarker-based treatments.

Information provided in the reports can help provide a better understanding of the disease and treatment options, and findings contribute to future research and development of new therapies for pancreatic cancer.

How Does the Know Your Tumor Service Work?

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network partners with a comprehensive precision medicine company, Perthera, that combines advanced molecular diagnostic testing, including genomic profiling and proteomic analysis along with optional germline testing, through CLIA-Certified laboratories. Perthera uses a proprietary Expert Oncology platform, patient history analysis and the input of board-certified oncologists to help you identify the best treatment options for your patient’s unique cancer.

Perthera will:

  • Provide you with the specific instructions for obtaining tumor tissue through:
    • a biopsy of a primary or metastatic tumor (for unresectable tumors), or
    • use of a surgical specimen from a recent (less than 12 months) pancreatic tumor resection.
  • Coordinate the shipment of your patient’s tissue from the hospital/medical center to Perthera.
  • Send your patient’s tumor tissue to multiple molecular diagnostic companies for testing and have the results interpreted by pancreatic cancer experts.
  • Integrate the results and expert interpretation to provide you with a report that has personalized treatment options for your patient.

While there is no guarantee that the biomarkers identified in the multiplex molecular testing process will be actionable for guiding treatment, this service will give you confidence about your patient’s diagnosis and available treatment options.

Who Is Eligible to Participate?

The criteria listed below will help you decide which of your patients are best suited for the Know Your Tumor service:

  • Patient has diagnosis of pancreatic malignancy
  • Patient has no sign of progression or impending need to change treatment
    • Completion and delivery of the report takes approximately 25 – 45 days from receipt of tissue
  • Tumor tissue is obtainable
    • Newly obtained core biopsy, 4 – 6 cores with 18 -- 20 gauge needle preferred
      • From accessible metastatic site
      • From primary site, if biopsy acquisition is deemed an acceptable risk
    • Surgical specimen (surgical resection must have occurred no more than 12 months prior to enrollment, with no other source of tissue available)
  • Patient resides in the United States/Canada and is not imprisoned
  • Patient or close caregiver is able to read and speak English or Spanish
How Long Does the Process Take?

It will take approximately 25-45 days from receipt of tissue for the Perthera report to be completed and delivered to you and your patient. Additionally, if a tissue sample is not already available, the time needed to obtain a tissue sample should be factored in when understanding the amount of time that will lapse before you receive a patient’s report. You may find it appropriate for your patient to start a new line of treatment while waiting for completion of the report. You
and your patient should begin the Know Your Tumor process as soon as possible to ensure the report is available to help inform the patient’s next line treatment.
What Will Know Your Tumor Cost My Patient?

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network covers the full cost of Perthera’s services for patients enrolled in Know Your Tumor. This includes:

  • Working with doctors and patients to coordinate procedures, such as a biopsy, to obtain tumor tissue for testing.
  • Sending the tissue to the laboratories for testing.
  • Having a panel of pancreatic cancer experts review the results.
  • Providing the patient and his/her doctor with a report that gives information about the unique characteristics of the patient’s tumor and a list of treatment options for the doctor and patient to consider.

Medical procedures – including biopsies – and molecular testing will be billed to the patient’s insurance. The patient will be responsible for any co-pay, co-insurance or insurance deductible associated with a procedure to obtain tumor tissue and for the molecular testing. Perthera can help your office bill insurance for the procedure so that most insurance providers will cover it.

Perthera’s patient coordinator can provide patients with information on applying for financial assistance programs available through the molecular testing laboratories used to help reduce or eliminate the bill for molecular testing.

What If the Treatments on the Report Are Not Covered by My Patient’s Insurance?

Should insurance coverage issues arise, our Know Your Tumor CareLine (in partnership with the Patient Advocate Foundation) may be able to help.
What Is My Role During This Process?

You play an important role in this process. Perthera will be in contact to collect order forms from you and arrange the transfer of tissue samples. As the process can take more than a month, it is important to get each step of the process underway as quickly as possible so that you will have a completed report ready to help you make a decision on the next line of treatment when needed. In order to receive your patient’s report as quickly as possible and ensure program completion, it is important for your office and your patient to respond to any communication from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Perthera in a timely manner. After you receive the report, Perthera will follow up with you about patient outcomes to help us learn even more about the disease and how well the treatments prescribed work to treat it.
How Do I Enroll My Patients?

Enrollment in Know Your Tumor is a two-part process.

1. You complete an order form giving permission for patient enrollment and for Perthera to collect tissue and order testing.

2. The patient will sign an informed consent with Perthera to participate in this IRB-approved protocol. The patient will then be connected to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to complete enrollment.

Wage Hope With Us

Join us to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.

shop purple logo

Gear, apparel, accessories and more to show off your purple pride.

Shop Now 

©2019 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network®, PanCAN®, PurpleStride®, Wage Hope®, Know Your Tumor®, Powerful Knowledge. Personal Treatment.®, Precision Promise℠ and Demand Better For Patients. For Survival.℠ are the trademarks of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is registered as a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s tax identification number is #33-0841281.