Tackling Cancer

Today’s medicine must answer the 4P rule—it must be predictive, participative, preventive and personalised. We speak to the experts at OncoDNA about tackling cancer; the procedures and the standard of care you should receive when diagnosed with such an illness.

How does cancer start?

Cells are the basic units of life. They can be combined to form tissues and a group of tissues working together makes up an organ such as the liver, brain or lung. To preserve their functions, our organs need to continuously replace their cells. Every cell is therefore programmed to replicate and die when they are old. This program is tightly controlled by our genes. Genes are made of DNA and contain the information necessary to build our organs and insure their functions. Sometimes errors occur in genes. Most of the time, our cells can correct these mistakes. If the damage is too important, they will self-destruct thereby preventing these errors to be transmitted.

Sometimes, cells lose the ability to fix themselves and refuse to die. Instead, their mutated genes give them superpowers and make them divide out of control. Overtime, these cells keep multiplying and form a solid mass called tumour, which may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). The tumour becomes really harmful when cancer cells start travelling through the blood or lymph system and colonise other tissues, forming new tumours called metastasis.

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Standard of Care

Metastatic cancer is classified according to the tissue of origin and histology of the tumour. When diagnosed with metastatic cancer, patients usually receive a treatment depending on their cancer type (such as breast, lung or colorectal). Physicians must follow standard protocols and there are guidelines for each cancer type. These treatments are designed for the average patient and might not always be the best option.

Modern Oncology Practice

All individuals are unique and so are all cancers, even those from the same tissue of origin. Cancer is not one disease, but hundreds of diseases; therefore the attitude to tackling cancer should vary from patient to patient.

During the past decade, major advances in the understanding of how cancers behave are giving doctors the opportunity to select treatments based on genetic alterations and to personalize a treatment plan for each patient. In addition to improve chances of survival, molecular profiling might also help avoiding unnecessary treatments and potential toxicity. Patients are treated based on their own cancer signature, as opposed to their generic cancer type.

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We would like to thank OncoDNA for their assistance with the content of this article. OncoDNA run a broad and complete molecular profile on your tumour analyzing both a tissue biopsy and a blood sample and then to compare the unique biomarker information of your tumour to the world’s medical literature, associating it to drug response or lack thereof. A tailored report presents a list of drugs, which may be associated with benefits, ongoing clinical trials you may be eligible for and drugs, which may be associated with lack of benefit. Your physician can click on the recommended treatment and verify easily which scientific evidence is supporting each option. The aim of this service is to ensure that physicians have the best possible chance to choose a suitable therapy for you.

Since 2012, the passionate team of cancer experts at OncoDNA has developed unique cancer treatment algorithms that work on tackling cancer—it matches therapies to your tumour profile. The intensive data algorithms process more than 300,000 pieces of medical and clinical evidence. This powerful analytic tool provides your oncologist with up-to-date actionable and clinical information to guide him in selecting the best cancer treatment regimen for your cancer, based on its very own genetic make-up, its biochemical profile and your medical records. To find out more about OncoDNA, visit their website: oncodna.com/

If you have enjoyed reading this article on tackling cancer, click here to read more on Celebrity Angels about effective cancer treatments. 

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