Dr. Tripathy on Personalized Therapies in Advanced BC

Debu Tripathy, MD
Published Online: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Debu Tripathy, MD, co-leader, Women's Cancer Program, University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses new personalized therapies on the horizon for advanced breast cancer.

Tripathy says physicians have known for some time that there are molecular targets that are amenable to therapy. For example, the growth factor receptor that is encoded by the HER2 oncogene can be targeted with an antibody and kinases inhibitors. However, it has been difficult to identify genetic drivers of breast cancer, Tripathy says.

Now that the entire genome can be sequenced, Tripathy says, physicians are understanding more mutations. Upon sequencing the tumors of many patients with breast cancer, physicians are finding that no two tumors are the same. Tripathy says the majority of known mutations are diverse and are not common across all cancers.

Another new discovery, Tripathy says, is that new mutations may be picked up after analyzing a patient’s tumor after treatment. This could lead to new options.

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