Study of the cancer genome, a field of research called genomics, has been instrumental in helping researchers unlock cancer’s mysteries. Research into cancer’s genetic code is allowing scientists to explore and experiment with cancer’s most basic building blocks. The result has been phenomenal growth in the area of personalized cancer treatment and advanced targeted cancer therapies.
Now researchers are exploring the use of genomic technology to accelerate patient trials of new cancer drugs designed to target the specific molecular profiles of individual tumors. Set to undergo its first major clinical trial in 2014, the genomic trial model is being heralded by some scientists as the possible beginning of a new era of advanced personalized cancer treatment.
The clinical trial will match new lung cancer drugs to the unique molecular profile of each patient’s tumor and test treatment effectiveness. “If successful, the trial could help bring cancer genome-targeted medicines to patients more quickly than has been possible to date,” an article in MIT Technology Review explained; adding, “One of the great promises of genomic medicine is that doctors will be able to tailor treatments to an individual patient’s disease.”
With our colleagues in the U.S. cancer community we will await the results of this new trial model with great interest. At Issels alternative cancer treatment centers, we have been practicing individualized, targeted cancer therapies for decades with remarkable success. We also found it interesting that the new trial will test immunotherapy drugs designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. We have been leaders in the use of immunotherapy to treat cancer for more than 60 years.