Topic: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

Targeted Cancer Care:
Targeting the Unique Changes in an Individual's Cancer

Cancer affects millions of individuals and each individual's cancer is unique. Even though cancers can be grouped by site of origin (e.g. breast cancer, prostate cancer), scientists have shown that each person's cancer has different abnormalities. Great progress has been made in developing technologies that can help identify the cellular and molecular differences in cancer cells. In recent years, projects like the Cancer Genome Atlas have helped identify thousands of mutations in cancer cells that drive the disease. The fact that each cancer patient may have different combinations of these abnormalities has led to a revolution in how we fight the disease.

The field of oncology is realizing that the best way to approach treating cancer may be to focus on drugs and therapies that attack specific gene abnormalities. For example, in the past, if a woman was diagnosed with breast cancer, she received the same treatment as most other breast cancer patients, even though this "standard" treatment only worked for some of the women. This is no longer always the case. Through molecular testing, it is now possible to identify some of the unique genetic differences in each woman's cancer and utilize this information to make more individualized treatment decisions. Finding these molecular changes may be critical to providing more effective treatment strategies for patients with many different types of cancer. This approach to medicine is often called "personalized medicine".

A constantly increasing number of molecular-level tests are being developed that identify the "on" and "off" switches in each individual's disease. Because these "biological" switches can be identified and may "mark" a cell as cancerous, they are called 'biomarkers". The identification of more biomarkers is helping to pave the way for the development of hundreds of new drugs and many new therapies that seek to target specific molecular abnormalities.

There are many examples of biomarker/targeted drug pairings and it is likely that there will be many more discovered in the next decade that will lead to improved treatments for cancer patients. It is very important that these biomarkers and targeted drugs be tested in clinical trials, to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Many of these drugs are still in the process of testing through clinical trials and the trial may be the only way to access these treatments. Increasingly, doctors are using molecular testing to identify the specific characteristics of a patient's cancer to help the patients select or qualify for these clinical trials. While researchers still have a long way to go before understanding all of the pathways cancer takes in different patients, there is much hope that we are moving into a new era where cancer treatment is designed on a patient-to-patient basis rather than based on standard protocols or averages.

Willow

Re: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

Here's the website with more information that I found useful for the general public, explaining the difference between chemo and molecular targeted therapies and giving examples of some of the drugs being used today.

http://www.n-of-one.com/resources/targe … r-care.php

Willow

Re: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

this is a better page for same website:

http://www.n-of-one.com/resources/molec … herapy.php

Willow

4 (edited by PCL1029 Sun, 12 Jan 2014 11:04:56)

Re: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

Hi, everyone,
thanks to Willow first for this link;it is much easy to understand for all the patients and caregivers who wants to know.

But apart from that, I think most of us need to read the rest  highlight rows of topic that follow the" molecularly Targeted Therapy" that Willow have put out.

THE CHEMOTHERAPY CHALLENGE
WHY IS CHEMOTHERAPY SO TOXIC?
DISCOVERING THE MOLECULAR SIGNATURE OF CANCER
ONCOGENES AND TUMOR SUPPRESSOR GENES
REVOLUTIONIZING THE TREATMENT OF CANCER
EXAMPLES OF CURRENTLY APPROVED MOLECULAR TARGETED THERAPIES FOR SOLID TUMORS
SHIFTING THE TREATMENT PARADIGM FOR CANCER
PARADIGM SHIFTS IN MEDICINE — THE LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT OF ONCE-TERMINAL DISEASES

They are short but to the point to describe each item(ie: 10-15 min to read fo all);And will give you the current thinking and trend of the future in treatment of cancer.

i may be one of the few that will encourage people to get a next generation sequence(NGS) done in spite of the uncertainty that it is still in its infancy development and interpretation. The reason is simple: I am the
patient; and not a doctor. They may see NGS  and the disease as a research  tools and subject that is not specific enough for them to do the research;but I see the NGS as another possible chance to PREPARE for my next battle in defending or attacking this disease.
Chronic disease indeed for this disease.

BTW, I will not be spend that much time here for the next 2 weeks ,I will attend the GI symposium,thanks to this Cholangiocarcinoma  Foundation;and after that I will be in Mayo for  a few days  to evaluate the current treatment plans that I have.

God bless,

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

Percy thank you for all that you do, really there are not enough thanks! Best of luck at Mayo and I pray that the evaluation shows good news!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

Thanks for the links Willow. And my thanks to you as well Percy for attending the upcoming GI Symposium and of course I look forward to hearing all about it as well. Good luck with your Mayo trip too. My fingers are crossed for you on that one and hope that you get some good news from it!

Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

Thanks, Percy for reviewing this easier to understand website and posting the higlighted topics. Even for non scientists it's fairly easy to understand the general idea.
I want to point out that not only does the dr have to request the genetic testing of a sample of tumor (it's not routine) but this also means an actual sample if tissue is necessary, either from biopsy or tissue removed during surgery (whether its exploratory, debulking or potentially curative surgery). So ASK your Doctor. I would be hesitant, due to spreading cancer, to have a repeated extra biopsy just to get sample for genetic testing if a diagnostic one was already taken.  Maybe they can preserve original tissue sample for later genetic testing?

Looking forward to meeting Percy, Marion, Jason and Andrea at the GI ASCO this week in San Francisco!
Willow

Willow

Re: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

Hi Percy,

Thanks for all the valuable info.  I wish you luck with your upcoming evaluation at Mayo.  Please let us know how it turns out. 

I'll be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.

Peace,
Mary

Re: Overview Of What Molecular Targeted Therapy Is

Willow,

I wanted to thank you also for this information.  Kind of you to share it with us and keep us updated on current care and treatments.

Peace,
Mary