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Precision Medicine Initiative Showing Early Signs of Success

First few Article Sentences

In his state of the union address, President Obama implored, "I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine—one that delivers the right treatment at the right time." The Precision Medicine Initiative that he was introducing aims to do just that for cancer patients, to discover an individualized patient- and tumor-specific blueprint that will indicate precisely the best therapy to eradicate the cancer without harming the patient. There are already early success stories, such as Gleevac, a drug which effectively targets a single genomic abnormality that is responsible for a common type of leukemia, and Tarceva, which targets a specific group of mutations in a subset of lung cancers, among others. Many additional drugs are in the Pharma "pipeline", targeting genes and pathways that are known to be significant in cancer initiation and growth. Patients are sometimes able to access these drugs, and drugs that have been approved for another purpose, through enrollment in a clinical trial, or by appealing for "off-label" use. With increasing frequency, finding a genomic abnormality in the tumor provides the indication for accessing these drugs and trials.


Berry, MD, Anna

 

CellNetix

Anatomic Pathology

August 10, 2015

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