Precision Cancer Medicine: Getting a Crystal-Clear Vision of Cancer

Dr Roychwodhury
If you wear glasses, you remember the moment. You put those brand-new lenses in front of your eyes, and suddenly you saw every swirl of your fingerprint, every vein of a leaf from 10 paces away.

Precision cancer medicine works much the same way. It’s the way the world’s leading cancer experts get a crystal-clear picture of precisely what drives a particular cancer’s growth.

By studying cancer cells at the molecular level (genomics), the OSUCCC – James experts get a much crisper vision of what’s fueling those particular cells to grow and spread. This, in turn, enables them to create a treatment plan with highly targeted therapies tailored specifically for that patient’s cancer.

“There is no routine cancer,” says Sameek Roychowdhury, MD, PhD, genomics expert and medical oncologist at the OSUCCC – James. “Because no two cancers are the same, we need to get to the root of why one person’s lung cancer, for example, responds well to a particular drug, but another person’s lung cancer refuses to cooperate with that same therapy.

“With genomic sequencing technology and precision cancer care,” Roychowdhury continues, “we identify exactly what genes have changed. We can see a tumor’s make-up, telling us which treatments may work best and which ones won’t, and we’re always developing new drugs to treat specific mutations.”

At the OSUCCC – James, teams of experts review a patient’s tumor data and interpret it in the context of novel “smart drugs” in clinical trials available at the OSUCCC – James. “Based on an individual patient’s genomic tumor data, we have a chance to choose drugs that are more likely to work,” Roychowdhury says. And for patients, that means the potential for more targeted options, fewer side effects and better outcomes.