Dr. Sledge on the Quantitative Measurement of Mutations

March 21, 2013
George W. Sledge Jr, MD

George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, Chief, Division of Oncology, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, discusses measuring mutations in human cancers quantitatively.

George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, Chief, Division of Oncology, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, discusses measuring mutations in human cancers quantitatively.

Sledge says that the new "currency" for measuring a patient's genome is the number of mutations in their cancer. There is a thousandfold difference between the least mutated and the most mutated of human cancers. This vast difference, Sledge says, impacts how a patient will respond to therapy.

As for doctors, who have spent their entire careers analyzing qualitative aspects of oncology, this new quantitative outlook is a big change. Patients with many mutations, such as those with triple-negative breast cancer, also have a greater chance of resisting drug therapies.

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