Instead of the traditional invasive and painful method for retrieving tissue suspected of being malignant,the new method called liquid biopsy can reliably find tumor cells in the patient’s blood.But just looking at those cells does not tell the whole story.
So the new way to get a diagnosis is to look deep in the cell and understand precisely what made it into tumor and that’s genomic sequencing.
In practical terms genomic sequencing involves making a detailed analysis of the patient’s genome.Looking for mutations that cause the uncontrolled growth of cells into tumors.Once the results are available, doctors comprising a so called tumor board, gather to discuss the best approach to treating that specific patient.The traditional therapy would have involved surgery and chemotherapy or radiation but after genomic sequencing,cancer patient Allison Cannes was treated only with two drugs.
In about 8 weeks from a treatment the imaging showed about 50% reduction of a tumor and that remains be continued to shrink gradually after the first reduction over the past year now, almost a year now.
Some oncologists caution that the biology of cancer is very complicated and that there’s still a lot to learn about it.
We’ve actually learned in some these situations where the mutations existed in the genetic analysis and the drug was available to match that genetic mutation.In those patients, it didn’t work.
Others feel much more optimistic saying they expect tumor profiling to become standard for all cancer patients.So do patients who have experienced improvement in their health.
Boy, if you can, if you can get the DNA testing and there’s a match for it, I’d really high recommend that, because it works so well.
George Putic, VOA News, Washington.