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Personalized Treatments for Cancer Are Revolutionizing Patient Care
Date:6/15/2010

PORTLAND, Ore., June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Raju Kucherlapati, Professor of Genetics at Harvard University—where he pioneered the use of genomic data in clinical decision making—will be addressing the Controlled Release Society on the subject of recent revolutionary advancements in personalized treatments for cancer patients.

"If you were diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer before 2003, there were not many treatment choices available to you," says Professor Kucherlapati. "If you are diagnosed with the same type of cancer today, it is most likely that the pathologist would order a series of genetic tests on the biopsy or surgically resected sample." The results of these tests would then be used to develop individually tailored approaches to patient treatment.

According to Professor Kucherlapati, the genetic tests performed on the tumor tissue would include the mutational status of EGFR, K-RAS, B-RAF, EML-ALK4 translocation, ErbB2 amplification, and perhaps others. Depending on the test results, a variety of treatments tailored to the specific type of tumor identified may be recommended by the oncologist.

For example, if the tumor being tested has certain types of EGFR mutations and does not have a K-RAS mutation, the oncologist may decide to treat the patient with a class of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors.  If the tumor has ErbB2 amplification, the patient may be recommended to enroll in a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of Herceptin—a drug approved for treatment of certain breast cancer patients.  If the tumor has an EML-ALK4 translocation, the patient may be recommended to enter a different clinical trial for a drug being developed by Pfizer to treat patients with this particular
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SOURCE Controlled Release Society
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