Thank you for Subscribing to Life Science Review Weekly Brief
By evaluating the tumor's profile with genomic testing, physicians can better recommend a drug or protocol not previously considered.
FREMONT, CA: Advanced genomic testing is developed to help find the DNA alterations that may be fueling the growth of a tumor. Information about genomic mutations unique to individual cancer may support doctors in identifying treatments designed to target those mutations. The conventional approach to cancer care defined the disease and its treatment by its location. Cancer treatment has usually followed a similarly generalized line of attack. Physicians can recommend a drug or protocol not previously considered by assessing the tumor's profile with genomic testing.
Precision cancer care is an emerging science, and innovative genomic testing is not appropriate for every patient. Even when the test is needed, it may not produce outcomes directly to a treatment plan. The analyses may assist doctors in considering more precise therapies in various cases, but not all mutations can be matched with known treatment choices.
Doctors can recommend the tests to patients whose cancer did not respond to a treatment plan prescribed for their tumor, whether it was a chemotherapy regimen, radiation, or surgery. The tests can be appropriate for patients with some rare cancers or other unusual circumstances to provide further options or clarity in searching for a targeted treatment plan.
Researchers have taken the innovations one step further, with genomic tests of cancer itself. These even more targeted evaluations study the DNA profile of the patient's tumor, searching for genetic abnormalities that can be matched to drug therapies that may not be considered. This change in thought and approach is toward precision cancer care. Instead of one-size-fits-all medicine, which can result in unnecessary and even harmful treatments for patients, advanced genomic testing devotes its attention to evaluating a single individual—the patient whose tumor is being tested.