Precision medicine individualizes cancer treatments 

With the Precision Medicine Initiative, medical research is now personalizing cancer treatments focused on the individual genes of each patient rather than the same treatment for all.   We now know from research that “cancer is not one disease, but rather a collection of diseases.”

Researchers are now looking at the basic molecules that make-up a cancer, with the hope to then develop specific treatment that targets those specific cells in the person. 

Currently, doctors do not have all the information needed to make a personalized treatment plan for each patient.  Rather, based on very limited information, treatment decisions are made.   

Now, with all the advancements in technology, there is the ability to put together molecular and genetic data—from which new treatments can be created to help patients “better manage their disease.”

References (Click to View): 

Rutgers Cancer Institute New Jersey

Computer algorithms and improved cancer therapy

Cancer therapy may start getting help from computers!  Researchers are now doing clinical trials to convert thousands of gene mutations into possible treatments for patients. 

Based on a patients’ own genes, new computer programs can now predict how that patient reacts to different cancer treatments.  At the University of Florida, researchers are using computer simulation modeling to study if these special algorithms can guide treatment. 

Cancers have hundreds to thousands of abnormal genes, and researchers are trying to “decode” these.  Currently, the researchers are mapping thousands of genes in each patient’s cancer that can cause further growth of that cancer.  Using simulation, a computer model is made of a person’s cancer and then shows how the cancer responds to different chemotherapy.

If the computer models are accurate, this “prediction technology” could help doctors and patients both select specific treatments that have the best chance of shrinking the cancer and avoid therapies that are more harmful.  Additionally, the models could be used for patients not responding to their chemotherapy or for those who relapse and need more effective treatment.

References (Click to View): 

Journal of Transnational Medicine (2015)