Based on a genetic understanding of their disease – Precision medicine is an approach to patient care that allows doctors to select treatments that are most likely to help patients. And based on this may also be called personalized medicine. Recent advances in science and technology have helped speed up the pace of this area of research although the idea of precision medicine is not new. When you are diagnosed with cancer, you commonly receive the same treatment as others who have the same type and stage of cancer. Even so, different people may respond differently, and, until recently, doctors didn’t know why. After decades of research, scientists now understand that patients’ tumors have genetic changes that cause cancer to grow and spread. They have also learned that the changes that occur in one person’s cancer may not occur in others who have the same type of cancer. And, the same cancer-causing changes may be found in different types of cancer.
Precision Medicine in Cancer Treatment therapy
How Genetic Changes in Your Cancer Are Identified
To figure out which genetic changes are in your cancer, you may need to have a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure in which your doctor removes a sample of cancer. This sample will be sent to a special lab, where a machine called a DNA sequencer looks for genetic changes that may be causing cancer to grow. The process of looking for genetic changes in cancer may be called DNA sequencing, genomic testing, molecular profiling, or tumor profiling.
From molecular fingerprinting of the tumor to a personalized treatment strategy
Scientists see a future when genetic tests will help decide which treatments a patient’s tumor is most likely to respond to, sparing the patient from receiving treatments that are not likely to help. Tests aim is to check whether treating patients with treatments that target the cancer-causing genetic changes in their tumors, no matter where cancer develops in the body, will help them. Many of these treatments are drugs known as Targeted Cancer Therapies. Currently, if you need treatment for cancer, you may receive a combination of treatments with an integrative approach, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and complementary. Which treatments you receive usually will depend on the type of cancer, its size, and whether it has spread. With precision medicine, information about genetic changes in your tumor can help decide which treatment will work best for you. There are drugs that have been proven effective against cancers with specific genetic changes and are approved. Approved treatments should be available wherever you have cancer treatment.
Developed solutions specially designed for your needs
Use a combination of the most relevant molecular technologies and bioinformatic approaches to support oncologists and NGS labs in their decisions about patient treatment.
Precision Medicine as a Treatment Approach
A COMBINATION OF DIFFERENT MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES IS KEY TO REACH CLINICAL BENEFIT
We provide a unique and powerful combination of techniques (next-generation sequencing of large gene panels and immunohistochemistry analyses, among others) for therapeutic decision-making. We perform these tests on liquid or solid biopsies, analyzing relevant somatic or germline alterations.
To be eligible for precision medicine, your tumor must have a genetic change that can be targeted by a treatment being tested.
Paying for Precision Medicine
Testing for genetic changes in your cancer may be covered by your insurance.
Treatment using precision medicine can be expensive.
Precision Medicine Research Moving Forward
Information from this research is being collected in databases where researchers from across the country can access the data and use them in their own studies. This sharing of data helps move the field of precision medicine forward.
Once genetic changes are discovered, another active area of research involves looking for drugs that can target these changes.
This helps to understand the problem of drug resistance that can limit how well targeted therapies work. Many researchers believe that precision medicine is the key to unlocking these secrets.