Thursday, June 7, 2012

Clinical Understanding of Cancer Has Changed: Reuters

Per this Reuters Article, the deeper genetic information available to oncologists today has the changed the way cancer is identified, tumors are diagnosed and treatments are prescribed.  It is no longer enough to simply identify the organ a cancer has reached and begin treatment.  The new knowledge, while increasing options to keep the disease at bay, has increased the need for genetic testing and specialized knowledge to understand results.   Per the article:

"Cancers that may look identical under the microscope may actually have very different genetic abnormalities, and therefore, are likely to respond to very different kinds of therapies," said Dr. Mace Rothenberg, senior vice president for oncology at Pfizer. "What is happening is a very rapid evolution in thinking - from one test on one tumor to actually doing multiple tests on one tumor sample."

The positive side is that treatments can be targeted better, the negative side is that it's harder for community hospitals and oncologists outside of major universities to keep pace.  

Kalorama's Personalized Medicine Diagnostics   is Kalorama Information's latest market research report on the industry of tests that identify molecular characteristics of cancer and treatment potential, among other applications.