In 2017 – Genomic diagnostic tests are so sophisticated they can accurately identify targeted treatments for cancer patients. This is called precision, personalised or targeted medicine.
However; the outmoded ‘one size fits all’ medicine is still common in conventional, complementary and alternative cancer medicine.
This includes the Gold Standard of Cancer Care in our hospitals or generic (one size fits all) notions that certain supplements, super-foods or wacky diets will work beneficially for all cancer patients.
As the picture indicates, pharmacogenomics – the blend of pharmacology & genomics, shows us that one size does not fit all.
Genome Mag – “Most often today, your treatment plan isn’t about you specifically. It’s what doctors would give to anyone with the same condition — your neighbour, the hot dog vendor, or the prime minister of Bangladesh.
Most cancer medicine revolves around “standards of care,” that is providing the best courses of prevention or treatment for the average person on the street.
With breast cancer, for example, those standards mean self-exams and mammograms after a set age and the usual chemotherapy, surgery to treat a tumour if one is found.
If the first treatment doesn’t work, doctors and patients move on to the next one and the next. It’s trial and error, with life on the line.
But each cancer in each person has its own genetic makeup – each tumour is a unique character with unique tendencies and vulnerabilities.
In some cases, the current standard of care may be the safest, most sensible option, but it’s also one size fits all.
Sometimes that’s sufficient, but not always.
It is in that “not always” category that personalised medicine is making the most headway.” GENOME MAG
Precision Medicine – Now
Our Cancer Navigation Service helps patients access state-of-the-art genomic diagnostic tests from a world certified Australia-based pathology lab.
Sophisticated tests like these are not commonly used in most hospitals as the article above implies.
The tests eliminate time wasting trial & error treatments which are hard on the patient.
Your cancer’s genetic uniqueness is mapped & targeted treatments are identified – thus increasing your probability of a successful outcome.
Over the decades we have been building a global alliance of doctors who can deliver these targeted treatments.
This is the ultimate in personalised cancer medicine – Precision Cancer Medicine.
Genomic tests can even indicate if a chemotherapy is applicable for your cancer genetics – see the-truth-about-chemotherapy
For example: If a sample group of 100 women with a similar breast cancer ares genomically tested, you would find a great deal of variance.
The tests would reveal that some women would respond to targeted chemotherapies while others would be poor responders.
Some would have few side effects while others would suffer greatly.
In other words– Chemotherapy would not be helpful for some groups and other treatments would need to be identified.
More from Genome Mag…
“Call it what you will — personalised medicine, genomic medicine, precision medicine – it shows the ways in which your disease risks are unique and different, just like your other, more obvious characteristics.
Those disease risks are based on the predispositions written into your genome at birth, combined with your lifestyle and environment.
In the case of cancer, the disease has its own genetic makeup, lending each tumour a unique character with unique tendencies and vulnerabilities.
And perhaps there is, or soon will be, a drug or treatment or tailored combination of the two that will work better for you than it would for someone else.” Genome Mag
Footnote: Cancer treatments vary across Australia and Overseas.
A poor prognosis from one hospital may be positive elsewhere.
The good news is our patients can access genomic diagnostic tests now.
AND – via our global alliance of leading cancer doctors – treatments not available in the patients home country – can also be accessed NOW.
Never before in our collective 52 years of supportive oncology care, have we been so ideally positioned to help those patients the medical system was unable to help. E.G. those with rare or difficult cancer types, cancers of unknown primaries (CUPS), patients not suitable for chemotherapy, and many others.
Read on to expand your knowledge of Precision Medicine
Knowledge is Power
Pharmacogenomics is the study of the role of the genome in drug response. Its name (pharmaco- + genomics) reflects its combining of pharmacology and genomics.
Pharmacogenomics can be defined as the technology that analyzes how the genetic makeup of an individual affects his/her response to drugs.
It deals with the influence of acquired and inherited genetic variation on drug response in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination), as well as drug receptor target effects.
Pharmacogenomics aims to develop rational means to optimize drug therapy, with respect to the patients’ genotype, to ensure maximum efficacy with minimal adverse effects.
Through the utilisation of pharmacogenomics, it is hoped that pharmaceutical drug treatments can deviate from what is dubbed as the “one-dose-fits-all” approach.
It attempts to eliminate the trial-and-error method of prescribing, allowing physicians to take into consideration their patient’s genes, the functionality of these genes, and how this may affect the efficacy of the patient’s current or future treatments (and where applicable, provide an explanation for the failure of past treatments
Such approaches promise the advent of precision medicine and even personalised medicine, in which drugs and drug combinations are optimised for narrow subsets of patients or even for each individual’s unique genetic makeup.
Whether used to explain a patient’s response or lack thereof to a treatment, or act as a predictive tool, it hopes to achieve better treatment outcomes, greater efficacy, minimisation of the occurrence of drug toxicities and adverse drug reactions (ADRs)