Molecular profiling can help cancer patients
Updated On: Aug 29 2012 11:58:20 AM EDT
(NewsUSA) - More than 1.5 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
Of the many critical decisions they will have to make, none is more important than the type of treatment that will be used to fight their cancer -- especially when patient response rates aren't very promising.
First line or standard therapies for cancer fail, on average, at least 70 percent of the time, and, when they do, studies show that as few as 5 percent of cancer patients respond to the second standard treatment plan they are given.
However, a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that when molecular profiling was used to guide the selection of cancer therapy, a drug known to target the specific biomarkers of a tumor was found in 98 percent of advanced cancer patients studied.
"With molecular profiling, a newly diagnosed cancer patient does not have to go down treatment paths that are not a good match or will not work for them," explains oncologist Sandeep Reddy, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at the Geffen/UCLA School of Medicine. "Molecular profiling also can help in the treatment of advanced cancers, when standard therapies have been exhausted and new treatment options are needed. Molecular profiling is truly transforming cancer care today."
According to Dr. Reddy, the earlier the most appropriate cancer treatment can be identified and used, the better it is for the patient. Today, molecular tumor profiling technology called Caris Target Now is helping doctors like Reddy make these critical decisions and treat cancer smarter.
Caris Target Now molecular tumor profiling identifies the genetic and molecular structure of a tumor -- its biomarkers -- and then matches this complex information with information about how these biomarkers respond to different cancer drugs. The service provides a list of available cancer drug options that may be more likely to work, including perhaps some that might not have even been considered, as well as drugs that may be less likely to work. Also, based on a patient's specific tumor biomarkers, it can identify open clinical trials that might provide patients with additional options to consider.
Personalized cancer treatment like this can also increase quality of life for cancer patients and cut healthcare costs for patients and the system.