Thursday, April 11, 2019

Genetic Testing Can Guide Cancer Treatment

After decades of research scientists believe they have found a better way to help treat cancer.  The typical cancer treatment includes a type of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  With the new knowledge oncologists can now start to offer treatments based on the specific genetics of the patients cancer.  Since the treatments (drugs and therapies) would be specific to their cancer it would be more effective and have fewer side effects.  Oncologists would take a sample of the tumor and then pathology would run a genetic test on the specific cancer.  Once they find the mutation for the cancer they use drugs related to that mutation and this is known as targeted therapy.  There is also immunotherapies that do not target the cancer mutation but try to put the immune system into overdrive so that it recognizes the cancer and tries to fight it.  Immunotherapy works with cancers with multiple mutations and helps to treat many different kinds of cancer.  Testing is still occurring with this genetic testing, upcoming testing is with cancer patients that are at Stage 4 and they will be testing their tumor specimens for 100 different targets to try and find a therapy to help their individual cancer.  Searching for so many at the same time could provide a better chance at finding the right one for the patient.
Image result for cancer cells

1 comment:

  1. I am currently taking a cancer related course where we are learning about a lot of the history behind many of the current modern day treatments for cancer, so it is fascinating to see how many of these treatments are currently evolving. I also think it is really interesting how big of an impact that different genes can have on the type of cancer that an individual has, and how severe that that said cancer will be.