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Dr. Sravan Kumar Dubasi, Monday, April 22, 2024

Unlocking the Future of Cancer Treatment: Understanding Precision Medicine

What is precision medicine?

Precision medicine is also known as “personalised medicine”. Precision medicine uses the specific information about the persons tumor taking into account of the factors such as genetic make-up, proteins of the tumor and help in diagnosis and tailoring the treatment of cancer. It also helps to assess the prognosis and effect of the treatment on specific cancer type.

How do you use precision medicine in cancer?

As discussed above depending on the genetic make-up and protein expression of the cancer diagnosis and treatment plan is made. For example, in breast cancer depending on the expression of estrogen(ER), progesterone (PR) receptors, and Her 2 protein on the cancer cells treatment of the cancer subtype is changed. If the cancer is ER/PR positive then hormonal therapy is used along with chemotherapy, whereas, if it is Her 2 overexpressed the targeted therapy like Trastuzumab is used.

In which cancer precision medicine is used?

Precision medicine is developed and being explored in all almost all cancers. But to name a few important and common cancers it is available in Breast, Lung, Stomach, Colon, Pancreatic, Ovarian, Prostate cancers etc.

What are the possible benefits of precision medicine?

As treatment is planned based upon the specific cancer markers, therapeutic agents acts specifically on the cancer cells. This type of treatment is also known as targeted therapy. Therefore, efficacy of the treatment is increased and with lesser side effects as the treatment act only on the cancer cells.

What are the possible side effects of precision medicine?

Side effects associated with the precision medicine depends on the targeted therapy used. As they act specifically on the cancer cells the side effects which occur are expected to be lower than systemic chemotherapy and can be managed easily. For example trastuzumab does not have chemotherapeutic side effects like nausea, vomiting, hair loss, cytopenias etc., however it has class specific side effects which can effect heart in rare cases.



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