Sunday, November 6, 2011

9000 tumors for personalized cancer treatment

"The £5.5 ($8.7) million Stratified Medicine Programme, led by the charity Cancer Research UK in partnership with the National Health Service and London-based AstraZeneca and New York-based Pfizer, aims to develop a standardized national genetic screening service to help tailor oncology treatments for patients. "

"Genetic stratification allows clinicians to determine which individuals will respond to which treatment, for instance, KRAS testing in bowel cancer to see if Amgen's Vectibix (panitumumab) and Imclone's Erbitux (cetuximab) is indicated."
------ Aldrige, Nature Biotechnology 29, 854 (2011)

Indeed, Pharma firms are moving away from the conventional "one drug fits all" doctrine. It is exciting to see how personalized medicine will pan out. Especially with each individual's data currently in seemingly fragmented states: Person X can do genetic testing on 23andMe on an array, exome sequencing and cancer profiling but she/he will never find them consolidated all under her electronic health record.

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