Personalized Cancer Treatment
The much waited era of personalized genetic medicine and treatment for cancer therapy is something we are finally arriving at. Several cancer centres and hospitals have started to screen their patients for genetic glitches related to the disease. Scientists too have started to use detailed information about patients’ tumours to find out which treatment is more beneficial. In this post, we are going to discuss everything about personalized cancer treatment, its medicines and how it’s advancing at a fast pace.
What is personalized cancer medicine?
Personalized cancer therapy is a treatment strategy employed to determine which cancer therapies apatient is more likely to respond to. The approach was founded on the idea that tumour biomarkers are associated with tumour response and patient prognosis to therapy. Added to that, patient genetic factors are also associated with drug metabolism, drug toxicity and drug response. Personalized tumour molecular profiles, tumour disease and the other patient characteristics are then used for determining best individualized options for therapy.
In other words, personalized medicine helps doctors put a cancer patient’s health concerns within a specific frame of reference based on that person’s genetic makeup. Doctors use this information to find better ways which can help prevent or treat the disease. New treatments strategies are also formulated to lower the side effects.
Presently it is more often used for patients who do not respond to standard treatment or who have multiple relapses.
What does a personalized cancer screening involve?
- Finding out the chances of developing cancer and choosing the right strategies to prevent the risk.
- Matching patients with treatments that will be more effective and have lesser side effects.
- Preventing cancer from recurring.
- Targeted therapy: Researchers have learnt that cancer could occur due to several genetic malfunctions and because of these errors, uncontrollable cell growth occurs which cause the tumour to grow and spread. This knowledge has allowed doctors to move cancer treatment from a broad bush approach to a more targeted technique called targeted therapy. Targeted therapy started in the 1990s and early 2000s. Its used commonly in blood cancers, kidney cancers, lung cancers, colon cancers etc.
Personalized Medicine is most often used in the treatment of
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Certain types of childhood cancers
- Some types of leukemia and lymphoma
- Colorectal cancer