Cancer Diagnostic Background

 

Cancer patients endure some of the most challenging healthcare dilemmas.  Chemotherapy is typically chosen on the results from clinical trials.  However, clinical trials treat cancer patients on the basis of the law of averages.  It is now well accepted that there is a wide variability in drug response to chemotherapy for each type of cancer.  No two cancer patients respond to chemotherapy exactly in the same way.  Consequently, patients are often exposed to chemotherapy that is ineffective and associated with unwanted serious adverse side effects and unnecessary expensive costs.  These challenges create the recognition for more effective diagnostic tools that personalizes medical treatment to find the best single and combination of chemotherapeutic agents that will effectively treat a patient’s cancer.

 

The historic diagnostic approach is to interpret the image of cancer tissue under the microscope by a trained pathologist.  However, such an approach cannot predict how the patient’s cancer will respond to current approved or experimental drugs.

 

Genetic or genomic diagnostic approaches are increasingly used to identify specific genetic biomarkers or mutations to predict a patient’s prognosis or predict drug susceptibility.  However, there are several deficits of genomic-based diagnostic approaches:

 

  1. Many genetic biomarkers are present in only a minority of cancer cases.

  2. There are often hundreds of genetic mutations in cancer that makes it difficult to interpret their clinical relevance. 

  3. Cancer is also driven by epigenetic processes that regulate cancer behavior through genetic or chemical processes independent of genetic mutations. 

  4. Genomic testing does not test for cancer stem cells, which represent a very small population of tumor cells but are often responsible for drug resistance and cancer metastasis and relapse.

  5. Genomic testing is NOT truly personalized (i.e. it is not referenced directly to the individual but is inferred from population studies). 

  6. Genetic testing does not provide insight to the concentration of single drugs or combination of drugs that will effectively kill cancer.

  7. Genetic testing does not provide a living tissue or cell, which is a prerequisite to develop a cancer vaccine.

 

CET has developed a superior cutting-edge approach that overcomes the aforementioned shortcomings of genomic diagnostic testing by offering a functional, phenotypic diagnostic approach.  For details on this approach, go to CET’s Cancer Diagnostic Technology

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