Cancer Patients to be Treated Based on Their DNA
The NHS patients will now be offered personalized cancer treatment that will tailor their therapy to their individual tumors.
As Cancer cells have recognizable genetic changes that cause them to grow out of control and in due course, cause harm to the patient, so these pilot scheme will analyze the individual's tumors of a few thousand patients for these genetic defects.
The patient will then be given treatment based on the evidence of what does and doesn't work for their type of tumor.
It would save the NHS money as doctors would prescribe fewer expensive treatments that are unlikely to work.
Cancer Research UK, which is running the project from this autumn, hopes the tests will become routine within two years.
At present, doctors diagnose cancer by scanning it, taking a sample, looking at it under a microscope and sending a biopsy off the lab for a chemical test.
With a test on a single mutation costing £200 but genetic analysis is now becoming much cheaper. It can give much more information on how likely the tumor is to grow or to react to certain treatments.
A spokesman said that "This will potentially be a game-changer. For example certain genetic types of prostate cancer grow more quickly and certain types of lung cancer are more likely to respond well to target 'next generation' drugs like gefitinib and erlotinib. Importantly, tests could also predict whether certain drugs won't work - sparing patients potentially unnecessary treatment".
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