Dr. Mills on the Shifts Towards Personalized Medicine

Dr. Gordon B. Mills from MD Anderson Cancer Center Discusses Shifts Towards Personalized Medicine

Gordon B. Mills, MD, PhD, chairman, Department of Systems Biology, chief, Section of Molecular Therapeutics, Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, explains that the management of cancer is shifting towards personalized care.

The goal of personalized medicine is to phase out the non-specific chemotherapy approach. Focusing on targeting the specific aberrations can reverse the adverse effects with better efficacy and less toxicity than non-specific chemotherapy.

Paradigms of personalized care already exist for breast cancer. A few examples include the HER2 marker for the use of Herceptin (trastuzumab) and the state of the estrogen receptor (ER) for the use of ER targeted therapies.

Establishing personalized medicine is not without a distinct set of challenges. There is a need to determine the aberrations that can be targeted, likely resistance mechanisms, and lastly how to prevent resistance from occurring.