Tag Archives: Cancer Testing

New Cancer Treatments May Be Studied After Gene Breakthrough Research for Breast Cancer

New Cancer Treatments May Be Studied After Gene Breakthrough Research for Breast Cancer
New Cancer Treatments May Be Studied After Gene Breakthrough Research for Breast Cancer

In the most comprehensive breast cancer treatment study of its kind to-date, scientists may have uncovered the potential for new breast cancer treatment therapies, and possibilities for the development of new drugs aimed at preventing the disease.

More than 100 Genes Linked to Breast Cancer Revealed
After discovering a bounty of genes linked to breast cancer, scientists may soon be able to develop new genetic tests for predicting breast cancer risk, and using the data obtained, ensure targeted cancer treatment for patients.

Genes Linked to Survival Could Aid in Prevention
Thirty-two additional genes, linked to survival in those with receptor-positive breast cancer, were also uncovered. These are hoped to be used to test new treatments, as well as for providing targeted prevention protocols for those most at-risk of developing breast cancer.

Super Sleuths
In the study, funded by Breast Cancer Now, scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London used a new genetic technique called ‘Capture Hi-C’ to analyze how genes interacted with 33 DNA regions known to play a role in breast cancer. Of the 110 genes identified in the study, the majority had not been previously linked to breast cancer, providing fresh new insight for those striving to develop improved cancer treatment regimens.

A Vital Piece to Puzzling Out the Disease
The findings are seen as integral to unraveling how genetic changes in the building blocks of the body’s DNA influence breast cancer risk, providing a key piece to solving the cancer puzzle.

Puzzling out your cancer treatment options? Discover the path to improved health with Issels® individualized cancer treatment protocols today.

Medicare Will Now Cover FDA-Approved Genomic Testing for Cancer Treatment

Medicare Will Now Cover FDA-Approved Genomic Testing for Cancer Treatment
Medicare Will Now Cover FDA-Approved Genomic Testing for Cancer Treatment

Genomic testing is an important tool that helps doctors determine whether or not a patient is a candidate for cancer immunotherapy treatment. Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) made the announcement that Medicare will now cover FDA-approved genetic tests to evaluate cancer.

Giving Patients Access to “Innovative Diagnostics”

Discussion on the issue began several months ago when Foundation Medicine received FDA approval for F1CDx, the first broad genomic cancer test of its kind. The current cost for for F1CDx is $5,800.

At the time of the announcement, CMS administrator Seema Verma issued a statement explaining the decision. CMS believes that it will give cancer patients “enhanced access and expanded coverage when it comes to innovative diagnostics.”

Coverage for genomic and molecular cancer tests that are still in development and not yet FDA-approved does not change with the new policy. U.S. regional Medicare administrative contractors will retain discretion in regards to payment for such testing.

Opening the Door to Accurate Evaluation

For the time being, Foundation Medicine will likely see a surge in the number of specimens submitted to them for testing. In the big picture, the CMS decision will encourage researchers to gather the evidence needed for FDA approval of additional tests.

Experts predict that within a few years another half-dozen companies will join Foundation Medicine in offering FDA-approved testing. One scientist called the decision a “major advancement for precision medicine.”

Genomic Testing and Cancer Immunotherapy from Issels®

At Issels®, we use genomic testing in creating individualized cancer immunotherapy programs that address each patient’s unique needs. Contact us today for more information.

Should You Undergo Cancer Screening?

Cancer Testing
Cancer Testing

Some patients at our Issels® immuno-oncology centers arrive as a result of cancer screening, which can find the disease early before it has spread. While testing has benefited many people, researchers are now questioning whether a widespread use of these procedures is beneficial.

Challenging the definition of “life-saving”

Oncologist Vinay Prasad, journalist Jeanne Lenzer and physician David Newman collaborated on a recent analysis published in The BMJ, one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals. They contend that the life-saving statistics for cancer screening are misleading because they are based on the concept of “disease-specific mortality.”

The authors argue that disease-specific mortality, which estimates the chances of a person dying from a particular disease within a particular window, is too narrowly defined. A more accurate measure of the value of screening is the number of extra years a patient gains from it, and at this point the data is unclear.

In addition, cancer screening sometimes leads to over-diagnosis. In these cases, treatment is given for tumors that are benign or non-life-threatening, which can result in more serious negative effects than the tumors themselves cause.

Changing standards for cancer screenings

Due to concerns over these issues, the American Cancer Society has revised recommendations for some of the more common screenings. For instance, the age for women to begin receiving mammograms has been raised to 45, and they suggest that men bypass prostate cancer screenings completely unless they are experiencing symptoms.

Should you find out that you have cancer, even Stage Three, the integrative therapies at our Issels® immuno-oncology centers may be right for you. They are personalized to meet your individual needs and minimize negative side effects of cancer treatment. Contact us for more information.