Alternatives to Chemotherapy
Many people are aware of chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy but in some patients cancer can progress when chemotherapy becomes ineffective or has to be stopped due to severe side effects.
So how many alternative anti-cancer treatment options are there?
How many alternative anti-cancer treatment options are there?
Many people are aware of chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy but in some patients cancer can progress when chemotherapy becomes ineffective or has to be stopped due to severe side effects. However only a few of us are aware of the new alternative treatment options that have now become available should conventional treatments fail. These represent the modern generation of anti-cancer agents that are able to specifically target the DNA mutations that drive cancer cells to grow and spread. These new targeted therapies can also be used as first line therapies for some tumour types circumventing the toxic effects of chemotherapy altogether.
How can these new treatment options be identified for patients?
Fortunately, recent advances in science relating to the human genome now provide the tools for undertaking the DNA profiling of a patient’s cancer biopsy which enables DNA mutations to be identified that can then be linked to the specific targeted anti-cancer agents engineered against these mutations.
Notably, everyone’s tumour is different and unique in relation to the different types of DNA mutations that drives their cancer and therefore patients require very different targeted agents to treat their disease.
Oncofocus tumour profiling is able to identify the unique spectrum of DNA mutations that characterises each individual patient’s cancer and this information can be used to identify precisely the correct targeted therapies ensuring the most effective treatment. This fully personalised treatment approach is called personalised medicine. Without profiling, new treatment options directly relevant to a patient’s particular cancer will remain undiscovered. The Oncofocus test can be requested directly by the patient because it does not influence ongoing therapy but identifies further treatment options going forward should standard conventional treatment protocols prove inadequate in controlling the disease.
What are Targeted Therapies?
Targeted therapies represent the new generation of anti-cancer agents engineered against the DNA mutations in cancer genes that drive cancer cells to grow. Targeted therapies only act on cancer cells with minimal impact on normal cells and therefore are associated with only minor side effects compared with chemotherapy.
Comprehensive genetic profiling of the tumour biopsy sample is needed to identify these treatable DNA mutations and the linked therapeutic opportunities.
The Oncofocus test is specifically designed to capture all the DNA mutations linked to targeted therapies thereby maximising treatment opportunities.
The report generated following testing is therefore a powerful and reliable clinical tool to identify the optimal therapeutic pathway for patients.
These genetically guided new anti-cancer agents, sometimes called magic bullets, can help patients live longer and avoid the toxicity associated with chemotherapy. The numbers of targeted agents available, around 780 at the present time, provide a broad range of new therapeutic opportunities for cancer patients.
Targeted Therapies Explained
How to get a full Clinical Report?
Following request of the Oncofocus test, Oncologica directly arranges for the transfer of the routine tumour biopsy sample from the treating hospital anywhere in the world to Oncologica’s Laboratories in Cambridge.
The biopsy is routinely embedded in a simple wax block for diagnostic reporting by the hospital and stored in the hospital pathology archive. This wax block can be easily transferred from the treating hospital to Oncologica for genetic profiling when a test is requested.
No additional blood samples or biopsies are required.
Genetic profiling allows Oncologica to link the tumour sample with over 780 of the modern anti-cancer targeted therapies which enables a much higher probability of successful treatment.
The full clinical report is sent to the patient and treating clinician. The test can be requested by the clinician or independently by the patient. Requesting the test does not influence ongoing treatments but identifies new treatment options going forward should conventional treatment protocols prove inadequate.
The Oncofocus report provides the oncologist with a powerful tool to improve cancer care including detailed information about the underlying cancer genes driving the tumour and the new anti-cancer agents that can be used to halt the disease.
Profiling is key to personalised medicine for every patient and understanding the molecular basis of the disease can have a major impact for improving outcomes for all cancer patients.
Understanding the enemy in detail empowers the oncologist and patient with the knowledge to defeat it.
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