Dr. Andre Goy from John Theurer Cancer Center Explains the Concept of Personalized Medicine
Andre Goy, MD, MS, chairman, director, and chief of the Lymphoma Division at the John Theurer Cancer Center, discusses the concept of personalized medicine and how cancer therapeutics have advanced over time.
The concept of personalized medicine has been around for some time and has recently become a buzzword. Research continues to reveal the growing diversity of cancer; the number of known mutations in the phenotype of a cancer is now daunting. Little overlap exists between types of cancer and as a result what effects one abnormality will not be present in another; this has given rise to targeted therapies.
The first cancer treatments arrived in the 1940s as an investigation into the effects of mustard gas bombs being used during war. This spurred the creation of the dozens of conventional cytotoxic agents we have today that broadly affect the DNA and metabolism of cells across all types of cancer.
Research into small molecules has identified subsets within a specific defect. As a result tumors are no longer broadly defined and the focus has shifted towards the molecular level.
As cancer treatment progresses further a focus on molecular targets needs to be further established in trials. The first step towards personalized medicine is trials that are focused on the molecular level.