By Dr. Alok Patel, ABC News Medical Unit
Imagine a world in which tumors came with step-by-step instructions of how they could be destroyed. This sounds like a far-fetched concept but it is closer to becoming reality thanks to the growing field of cancer genomics.
Tumors have potential genetic “ID tags,” termed biomarkers, that could one day help oncologists tailor drugs for each patient. What could this mean in the grand scheme of cancer care? Potentially more efficient chemotherapy treatment, with the added bonus of decreased side effects.
This week’s ABC Health tweet chat, led by ABC News’ chief health and medical correspondent, Dr. Richard Besser, explored the fundamentals of personalized medicine in cancer care. The chat, co-sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research, covered the basics of cancer genomics, including research, funding and delivery of care. Click here for a full transcript of the chat in case you missed it. The following nine tweets from the chat represent the highlights.
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T1 Personalized medicine is sometimes referred to as precision medicine. #abcDrBchat
— AACR (@AACR) April 8, 2014
T1: Delivering the right drug at the right time to the right person #abcDrBchat
— UPMC/PittHealth News (@UPMCnews) April 8, 2014
T2: there is also a move towards personalized cancer ‘care’ – which includes medicines, but also their whole cancer journey. #abcDrBchat
— LIVESTRONG (@livestrong) April 8, 2014
T2 We have to be careful to not just evaluate the tumor. The immune microenvironment is also critical #abcDrBchat
— U.of MD Cancer Ctr. (@UMGCC) April 8, 2014
T3: Today, novel genomic technologies permit the study of hundreds or thousands of genes at a time. That’s progress. #abcdrbchat
— The James (@OSUCCC_James) April 8, 2014
— Nicole Ferrara (@nbferrara) April 8, 2014
T4 the near future will involve combinations of therapies that hit cancer on multiple fronts. Far future: immunoprevention? #abcdrbchat
— Cancer Research Inst (@CancerResearch) April 8, 2014
— Van Andel Institute (@VAInstitute) April 8, 2014
— ACSCAN (@ACSCAN) April 8, 2014