Not all genomic tests are the same.
It is therefore vitally important to contact us FIRST if you are considering genomic testing:
There is significant variation in the types of tests and their purpose. Some genomic tests are purposed towards suitability for a clinical trial, others are research focused, some are only offered to patients that have been heavily pre-treated, whilst the more sophisticated tests offer personalised and targeted treatments. Some tests are performed in Australia, others are performed overseas. Some tests are computer automated whilst others are interpreted by skilled genomic pathologists. The later is our preference for patients considering joining our Survivorship Care Plans. It is cost effective from the outset when you choose the most applicable test for your unique cancer situation.
It is important to understand the difference between drug based immunotherapy and immune enhancement cell based immune therapy.
Drug based immune therapy is a type of drug treatment that hijacks the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
It is different to chemotherapy which works by killing cancer cells. Different types of immunotherapy work in different ways for various cancers. So far it has been of benefit in only a few types of cancer and it is not without risk of short and long-term adverse side-effects
Cell based immune therapy is made from your own immune system. The cells are harvested from your blood, transported to a high-tech laboratory where your cells are multiplied creating a series of personalised cancer vaccines. The vaccines significantly increase activity numbers and function of your natural killer cells and dendritic cells.
As well, the cells are now retrained to seek and destroy cancer cells like a heatseeking missile. The process restores your immune system, has no side effects and a high safety margin – no adverse side-effects.
A new Genomic Test – before considering treatment with drug based immunotherapy we believe it is essential to have a TML (tumour mutational load) test. TML is emerging as an important indicator of sensitivity to immune checkpoint inhibitors and may indicate your likely response to immunotherapy providing you with informed consent before considering this treatment.
What is Tumour Mutational Load? Cancer is a complex disease, caused by a wide range of genetic mutations that can be present in many combinations.
Tumour mutational load (TML), or tumour mutational burden (TMB), is a measure of the number of mutations within a tumour genome. TML can vary greatly between tumour types, ranging from just a few mutations to thousands of mutations within a tumour.
How could this benefit me?
The Tumour Mutational Load assay has been designed in response to the need to determine if treatment utilising immune checkpoint inhibitors is likely to be of benefit in your particular clinical circumstances.
For some cancer types, immunotherapy drugs are not listed on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and they would incur a large out-of-pocket expense.
We consider this test an important step in gaining as much information as possible prior to deciding on whether to progress with these particular group of drugs.
IMPORTANT: Cell-Based Immune Therapy is very different to Drug-Based Immunotherapy
The Grace Gawler Institute believes patients should be well informed regarding immunotherapies...
Our ethics is that patients should be thoroughly informed regarding risk versus benefit of any cancer treatment. This applies even more so when it comes to drug based immunotherapy. We aim to provide information based not only on science but patients’ real-time experience. Choose wisely.
Few patients and doctors know there is a great difference between cell-based & drug-based immune therapies now heavily promoted in Australia & New Zealand.
This knowledge alone may help you avoid debilitating side-effects.
You should know about the severe unpredictable side effects, short & long term caused by drug-based immunotherapies like Keytruda, CAR T Cell etc: see dangers-of-drug-based-immune-therapies-references/
Risk awareness in AU & NZ regarding side effects of drug-based immunotherapies, lags behind the USA. Litigation for deaths & damages from these therapies is increasing. see keytruda-litigation-controversy