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Beyond identifying targetable alterations, genomic methods can identify cancer-specific proteins that inform the design of personalized treatment and care.
FREMONT, CA: When the cancer was first described, there were just two forms. But in the late nineteenth century, physicians found that cancer had several cellular forms with the help of the microscope. Now, innovative technology is once again transforming the understanding of cancer's origins and complexity. Instead of extensive categorizations based on the location of tumors, genome sequencing offers detailed characterizations of the combination of genetic mutations that trigger cancer development in an individual. Several oncology researchers and practitioners study genetic alterations in cancer, but they either focus on tumor type or mutation that happens across tumors. A study focusing on precision medicine in cancer is now offering evidence that even more, comprehensive gene testing should be routine in cancer research, treatment, and care.
As well as advancing understanding of what causes cancer, genomics is offering insights into how an individual's cancer might progress and its likely response to treatment. For some, this data will save their lives; knowledge of cancer's genetic drivers is already changing how some people's cancer is treated. For others, it only adds new data, not years to their lives or new treatment choices.
But each cancer-causing or cancer-influencing genetic mutation found is a potential target for drug development, including for cancers for which there are presently few treatment choices.
Identifying cancer-causing mutations can be vital to diagnosis, especially when it comes to hematological cancers. One of the major impacts that cancer genomics has treatment choices. Having the right diagnosis is the most vital determinant of getting the right treatment. The possibility of treating cancer-based on an individual tumor's genetic profile can cause a surge in patients' cancer-genome profiling.
Targeted therapies have become vital in cancer treatment and research. Efforts are also being made to tackle resistance to targeted treatments. The researchers believe their findings confirm the value of tumor gene testing to find the best treatment plan for patients and offer a roadmap for future precision medicine trials.