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Personalized medicine for cancer patients in a new technology era
Date:4/14/2010

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"For example, you might find that the aberrations in a subtype of colon cancer are the same as the aberrations in a subtype of melanoma. In that case, the treatment that works in the colon cancer may be appropriate for the melanoma. So you'd go ahead and test it."

"The problem we have is the complexity of cancer. No two tumours are the same, even within the same type of cancer. They may look the same under the microscope, but their molecular aberrations vary greatly."

"When we treat a cancer, we give a person the drug that's most likely to work within the limitations of our current understanding. The drug may not work for that individual, even though it works for the majority of patients with the same kind of cancer. If the treatment fails, we go onto the second-line treatment, which might also fail. By the time we get to the treatment that's actually going to work, it might be third or fourth down the line and the cancer may have advanced. In the case of pancreatic cancer, the patient has probably died."

"The consortium's internet-based databanks will help us treat specific cancers with specific treatments. Not only that, the information will help us understand why some treatments work and others do not, and then design better drugs to target faulty elements or mechanisms."

"One of the first things we can do is pick the low hanging fruit things not detected by the old technologies. For example, if an existing therapy targets molecular aberrations in one cancer type, yet its effects have not been explored in other cancer types, we now have a rapid way of identifying which of the unexplored cancers is a likely new target."

"B-RAFF inhibitors are a good example of a drug that shows promise for treating some kinds of melanoma. If you were to test the drug with 50 other cancers, it could take 50 years, using old methods and technologies."

"If you approach the problem with new technologies, you can qui
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Contact: Alison Heather
a.heather@garvan.org.au
61-292-958-128
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

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