A new database should help oncologists make targeted cancer therapies more accessible.

The TOPOGRAPH (Therapy-Oriented Precision Oncology Guidelines for Recommending Anti-cancer Pharmaceuticals) database is an online tool that catalogues oncology research to streamline the process of recommending therapeutic treatments in precision cancer medicine.

“TOPOGRAPH is uniquely useful in the Australian context because it combines up-to-date information on treatments approved for use in Australia in both clinical and trial settings,” says Dr Frank Lin, who led the development of the platform. 

“This tool was designed to systematically organise the vast amount of data from clinical trials and regulatory authorities into an accessible, easy to use platform for oncologists to maximise the therapeutic benefit to patients.”

Oncologists can look up any of these parameters on the platform, as well as combinations of biomarkers, cancer types, and therapies to view information tailored for patients with advanced cancer.

Therapies are organised into different tiers according to how effective they have been shown to be for a given cancer based on key biomarkers, its approval for use in Australia, and whether the cost of the treatment can be subsidised through the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS).

Dr Subo Thavaneswaran, medical oncologist at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Garvan researcher, says the database is already proving useful in a clinical setting.

“Applying TOPOGRAPH to our Molecular Tumour Board recommendations at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre gives us greater confidence in their consistency, evidence-base and understanding of accessibility to therapies in the Australian context,” the researcher said.

One of the reasons TOPOGRAPH was built was to keep oncologists up to date with the latest research and treatment approvals. 

The researchers plan to update TOPOGRAPH with treatments and therapies as they emerge and undergo assessment by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Details of its development are accessible here.