An approach that helps select the most effective treatments based on a patients genetic and molecular information.
Primary Cancer Treatment
WHAT IS PRECISION MEDICINE IN CANCER TREATMENT?
Traditionally, cancer treatments are based on statistics but precision medicine is based on the specific and individual characteristics of the patient’s cancer cells — especially genetic features, growth factor and hormone sensitivity or surface markers. Precision medicine intends to deliver precise and individualized treatments to patients that are based on the detailed understanding of their cancer. This allows oncologists to select treatments based on a genetic characteristics of the patient’s specific cancer cells.
PRECISION MEDICINE AT ESPERANCE
At Esperance, patients undergo next-generation sequencing and a number of conventional diagnostic tools, such as imaging, biopsy, histology and tumor markers. Precision medicine goes beyond general information of the cancer type and investigates individual features of the cancer cells. This includes genomic features of signaling pathway sensitivity, such as hormones growth factors, and surface markers. This can involve a soft-tissue biopsy, where the oncologist removes a sample of the cancer, and liquid biopsy which is a less invasive option that can be used for cancer prevention and ongoing monitoring. The sample is then put through a machine called a DNA sequencer which looks for genetic changes related to cancer initiation, progression and cancer associated immune suppression. The patient is provided with a customized combination of treatment recommendations based on results: cytotoxic therapy, low-dose chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. If surgical intervention is warranted referral to the co-located Bumrungrad Cancer Center is completed.
In order to create a drug sensitivity profile of the patient’s cancer cells, oncologists extract a sample of the cancer cells and test specific drugs on them to check their effectiveness. A comprehensive report is compiled to show the percentage of cancer cells destroyed by specific drugs, which rationalizes the customized combination of treatments recommended to the cancer patient.