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Treatment Personalization2016-11-04T03:12:23+00:00

Tailor Your Treatment to Your Genes

Until now, cancer patients and caretakers in various stages often face the dilemma when deciding whether or not to receive chemotherapy as part of the treatment for two primary reasons – uncertainty of future cancer relapse and efficacy of chemotherapy. If the cancer has low likelihood of relapse, the patients could be wasting time and money on unnecessary treatment. On the other hand, if a certain chemotherapy method is ineffective against the patient’s cancer, he or she could be wasting his or her most valuable treasure as a cancer patient – time – on the wrong treatment that will mostly likely only worsen the patient’s health.

“There is an urgent need for prognostic and predictive markers to better decide who should receive adjuvant chemotherapy of which type.”

Annals of Oncology

“(a) difficult issue is who benefits from what? Should all stage II and III patients receive adjuvant chemotherapy, and if no which ones?”

Annals of Oncology

Should I receive chemotherapy?

For example, for early stage colorectal cancer patients, surgeries such as polypectomy or colectomy are usually performed to remove the cancerous and surrounding tissues. Under the current cancer treatment guideline, the majority of stage II patients do not receive adjuvant chemotherapy even though around 27% of patients eventually develop undetected micro-metastasis and die from the cancer.

On the other hand, even though only about half of the stage III patients eventually develop micro-metastasis, nearly all of them receive adjuvant chemotherapies such as FOLFOX, meaning half of the patients still suffer from toxicity and unnecessary medical treatments and costs despite had already been cured by the surgery. According to the Annals of Oncology, “(a) difficult issue is who benefits from what? Should all stage II and III patients receive adjuvant chemotherapy, and if no which ones?” and “there is an urgent need for prognostic and predictive markers to better decide who should receive adjuvant chemotherapy”

Which chemo option is the the most effective for me?

For certain cancers, there are more than one type of chemotherapy options. If the patient is assessed to have a high risk of recurrence post surgical removal of the tumor, what is the most suitable and effective among the different options?

With the help of personalized treatment, patients and oncologists would be better at making informed decision about treatment plans.