Precision medicine, also known as personalized medicine, is a medical approach that allows your doctor to select a treatment plan based on an understanding of the genetics of you or your loved one’s disease. While you may not have heard of it, it’s an evolving process that can be used to treat one’s cancer. While many modern approaches to cancer deal with a collective group, precision medicine are based on the individual’s own health. Below we’ll cover some basics of precision medicine and how next-generation sequencing can be used to treat the disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Precision Medicine Involve?
An example of precision medicine is when a doctor prescribes a medicine based on similar genetic changes in different tumors. Rather than prescribe a medication for the type of cancer, the doctor can prescribe based on similar tumors.
How Can Precision Medicine Help?
When patients see a doctor for a tumor, they generally prescribe a one-size-fits-all approach. However, this approach is often unsuccessful. Typical treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and invasive surgery. The treatment is usually based on the location of the tumor.
Precision medicine, on the other hand, treats the tumor based on its genetic changes. Rather than focus on the location of the tumor, this approach focuses on the genetic mutations.
The benefits of this approach include earlier detection of certain types of cancer. By focusing on the molecular level, doctors don't have to wait for the tumor to grow to begin treatment. An example of this is an individual being tested for potential cancer based on their family's medical history. By focusing on their genetics, detection can be improved, allowing treatment before symptoms begin to appear.
What Is Next Generation Sequencing?
Using next-generation sequencing, genetic changes in a tumor can be easily identified.
How Useful Is Next Generation Sequencing?
Next-generation sequencing can be very useful when standard cancer treatments simply don't work. The testing procedure can also help when a doctor is not able to locate the origin of the cancer.
According to one study, next-generation sequencing can greatly improve the outcomes of cancer patients.
In the study, more than 1,000 cancer patients were treated at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. From that study, genomic alterations were found in close to 80% of the documented patients. Out of 130 patients who received next-generation sequencing treatment, 40% indicated they saw benefits.
Next-generation sequencing also helped patients identify the tissue of origin for their cancer. This helped doctors provide specific treatments for their cancer based on the results of the sequencing.
What Progress is Being Made?
With the improvements being made in the discovery of cancers and their genetic makeups, doctors are better able to treat the disease. New drugs are being developed from this procedure.
Why You Should Choose New Jersey Cancer Care
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