Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Future of Personalized Cancer Care Is Promising and Near


Newswise — BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Cancer survival rates could improve soon with whole-genome sequencing, according to two studies published in the April 20, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that describe the first clinical applications of the high-tech process in patients with cancer.
The papers are remarkable examples of the power that genomic data hold for patients with a cancer diagnosis, according to an accompanying editorial by Boris Pasche, M.D., deputy director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of medicine, and Devin Absher, Ph.D., of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.
Whole-genome sequencing is a high-tech process that essentially maps a person’s DNA and analyzes it for mutations. This has enabled cancer therapies to evolve from a standard therapy for all patients with a given type of cancer to a slightly more personalized treatment.
“Whole-genome sequencing gives us the ability to screen a much larger number of tumors and correlate them with the outcome of the patient, so it is very likely that our targeted therapy is going to be exploding in the next decade,” Pasche says.
Half of all men and one-third of all women in the United States will develop cancer during their lifetimes, according to the American Cancer Society; and few, if any, do not know someone who has had cancer or died because of it. This new advance could change that.
“In one study, a patient with leukemia had a poor prognosis, but through sequencing, this patient was found to have a gene that showed they would react favorably with a different therapy than originally recommended,” Pasche says. “If patients have certain genes, they may not respond to certain treatments. But whole-genome sequencing gives a full picture of the genetic make-up of the tumor and the patient, and it may allow the physician to target a new treatment.”
Pasche says the unbiased picture of the sequenced DNA enables physicians to look at tumors in a way not possible previously. Even when the technology finally was available, it was too expensive. Now, the cost to sequence a patient’s entire genome and the genome of their tumor is down by more than 100 fold, but still ranges from $30,000 to $40,000.
“Prices are still dropping very rapidly; in the next 10 years, it will cost less than $10,000, and it certainly will be more affordable in the next five years,” says Pasche, who believes having sequencing covered by insurance or otherwise is a work in progress.
At UAB, Pasche says whole-genome sequencing is being used in many projects, most notably in a clinical trial for women with triple-negative breast cancer.
“There is a high degree of expectation with whole-genome sequencing,” he says. “The hope is that it will help survival rates of those with cancer.”
About the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is among the 40 cancer centers in the nation to meet the stringent criteria for the National Cancer Institute's comprehensive designation. The center is a leader in groundbreaking research, reducing cancer disparities and leading-edge patient care.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a separate, independent institution from the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa. Please use University of Alabama at Birmingham on first reference and UAB on all consecutive references.

5 comments:

DAVID HAAS said...

Hello,
I have a question about your blog. Please email me!
Thanks,
David

ask medical questions said...

hey thanx for this blog.cancer care,precautionand eary diagnosis is important

cancer treatment center said...

Thanks for the post. It is worth reading and reposting. Nice sharing and keep posting.

maggie.danhakl@healthline.com said...

Hello,

I hope all is well. Healthline just published these inspiring quotes about breast cancer from celebrities who battled the disease. Our audience really enjoyed them and gave us great feedback on how powerful and inspirational they are. You can see them here: http://www.healthline.com/health/breast-cancer/quotes

I thought they would be of interest to your followers as well, and I wanted to see if you would include it as a resource on your page: http://ourlifewithbreastcancer.blogspot.com/

Please let me know if this would be possible. I’m happy to answer any other questions as well.

Thanks so much!
Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

About Us: corp.healthline.com

Anonymous said...

Cured of TNBC!
I want to take this time out as a cancer survivor to encourage women out there still suffering from this with my story on how i got a cure. The sad news about it is that i was diagnosed on my 36th birthday in 2008 and with stage 3 TNBC which after i made research was a very aggressive form of cancer at that point i decided and told myself i was going to die and that the end has finally come. All my life i never thought of having breast cancer because i was very active and i worked out at the gym several times every week and my diet was okay. In my search for a cure after 6 years of diagnosis and even after chemo which i did twice spending thousands of dollars but to no avail, until a church member told me all about Dr Aleta a herbal doctor that specializes in treating TNBC, who could help me with a permanent cure, i doubted this at first but i later gave it a try following her methods and instructions. It took 3 months and after it all i felt normal but still went for diagnosis and i was clean today i am proud to say i am a cancer survivor no nodes and i am totally free the new diagnosis confirmed it. Do not die in silence or ignorance reach her on aletedwin@gmail.com don't be shy just speak to her today.