’Landmark’ MedUni Vienna study on precision oncology

(c) MedUni Wien/feelimage
(c) MedUni Wien/feelimage

Philipp Staber (Department of Medicine I, MedUni Vienna and Comprehensive Cancer Center of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital) has already attracted international attention as head of EXALT 1, the world’s first study on precision cancer therapy, published in 2021. His ongoing follow-up study EXALT 2 has already been described as " landmark" in a news feature in "Nature".

Under the leadership of hematologist Philipp Staber, EXALT 2 is testing an innovative treatment strategy that tests drugs on patients’ cancer cells. "The latest study by Staber and his group is the first to directly compare functional and genome-guided approaches with treatments based on standard pathology and medical intuition," reads the "Nature" news feature entitled "The future of precision cancer therapy might be to try everything". The article uses international examples to show the current status and potential opportunities of functional precision medicine in cancer. "This will be a very powerful study that will likely confirm the utility of these functional tests," says Anthony Letai, hematologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Masssachusetts, and President of the Society for Functional Precision Medicine. "It is the first randomized trial comparing genetic and functional, drug-screening methods head-to-head in guiding therapy; we expect results by the end of 2025," says Staber.

About the person

Philipp Staber studied medicine at Med Uni Graz, where he also completed his doctorate and habilitation. Following his training as a specialist in internal medicine (2007) and a one-year fellowship in hematology and oncology, he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center from 2009 to 2013. Since 2014, he has been a senior physician and assistant professor at the Medical University of Vienna and director of the T-cell lymphoma program at MedUni Vienna. In 2015, he was appointed Associate Professor at MedUni Vienna and in 2016 he was appointed Director of MedUni Vienna’s Lymphoma and CLL Program and the Precision Medicine in Hematology Program. Since 2022, he has been the Chair of Precision Hematology in the European Hematology Association (EHA).