Store My What??? STORE MY TUMOR, please….


  • FACT:  Two people with the exact same cancer diagnosis can and do respond differently to the exact same treatment regimens.  Each person is unique and so is their cancer.
  • FACT:  When you match the RIGHT targeted therapy or chemotherapy to the RIGHT tumor, tumors can shrink & hopefully the cancer goes into remission or at least remains stable.
  • FACT:  To potentially benefit from personalized or individualized treatment options, you need tissue from your specific tumor.  This tumor tissue can only be collected at the time of biopsy or surgery.

 

Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)

At the time of initial diagnosis, no one really knows whether their cancer will respond to what will be initially prescribed or if they may be forced to explore other treatment regimens later on.  Most cancer patients (and oncologists too for that matter) are not thinking about potential treatment options beyond the first line of therapy and candidly, many are unaware that they can make use of tumor tissue for personalizing treatment therapies.

 

Taking a personalized approach to treating cancer (using biomarker testing, genetic sequencing, molecular profiling, chemo & drug sensitivity testing, T-cell therapy, tumorgrafts, etc.) does not guarantee a successful outcome.  And these approaches may or may not change the first-line of therapy that a doctor prescribes.  Regardless, utilizing this approach can increase your number of treatment options as well as assist doctors in choosing the most effective treatment regimen for your particular cancer.

 

There’s a CAVEAT though…  To take advantage of these testing options and targeted cancer vaccines, (A) tumor tissue must be available or preserved and (B) if preserved, it must be done in the correct format type.

 

To preserve tumor and maximize the number of potential treatment & diagnostic options available, check out StoreMyTumor- they help collect & preserve or bank tumor tissue.  Here’s how it works:  The patient seeks this service before biopsy or surgery.  StoreMyTumor sends a special collections kit with detailed instructions for the surgeon.  Once the tumor is packed and the kit is received back, StoreMyTumor processes the tumor and preserves it.  Patients then instruct StoreMyTumor to send parts of the tumor to any destination of choice.

 

For more information on preserving tumor tissue, please contact StoreMyTumor directly.  I have not worked with them personally but I think the concept is amazing.  It’s kinda like an insurance policy… if you need it, you’re thankful you have it.  And remember, no one wants to have extra surgeries or biopsies- so please understand all of your options BEFORE having the initial biopsy or surgery.

 

For more information on what can be done with tumor tissue to individualize your cancer treatment, visit IsMyCancerDifferent.com, MyCancer.com & CancerItsPersonal.com.  For information on taking personalized cancer treatment to the next level with tumorgrafts, visit ChampionsOncology.com.

Personalized cancer treatments are changing the way we treat cancer… one patient at a time. Eventually, the individualized approach will become mainstream medicine and treating cancer based on body part (ie. breast cancer begins in the breast; lung cancer begins in the lungs, etc.) will be a thing of the past.  In the meantime, know ALL your options and advocate for yourself.

4 comments

  1. Catellya Rose says:

    WOW! Who would have thought to store their own tumor? I wonder if the tumor tissues would still be viable to use after so long. It seems to me that it would be dead tissue with out a human body to feed on.

  2. SMT says:

    Patients learn about the importance of their own tissue often too late, and frankly we hear it every day, “if I knew and stored my tumor the first time, I could have saved myself a second surgery”. The problem is simply awareness, and we are changing that.

    We preserve the tumor (can be solid or fluid) in 3 formats, only one of which as live cells (viable). The tumor is processed and cryopreserved. It can last years, and when thawed the cells simply come back to life and are ready to be used for a number of applications. Similar techniques are used for preserving sperms, ovaries, stem cells, etc…

    Each application requires a specific format and once preserved, samples cannot be re-formatted. These decisions have to be made at the time of surgery. That’s why StoreMyTumor specializes in preserving tumors in all formats so patients will have more options down the road

  3. PtheStone says:

    I am surprised to read about StoreMyTumor on your blog. My oncologist recommended them weeks ago, and after receiving excellent reviews on inspire.com, I preserved my tumor tissue with them and now I am almost enrolled in a trail that requires fresh tissue.

    I have battled cancer for almost 6 years now, and for the first time, I feel that I have the tissue necessary to explore options beyond standard of care. I feel alive, positive and hopeful !! I almost forgot this feeling!

    I am grateful and lucky to have heard of this service, because when I talk about it among other patients and friends, they all tell me “I wish I knew about it when I did my surgery”. For that reason I wrote a comment on inspire.com and titled it “the best advice I ever got”, and now I want to comment on your blog and advise ALL cancer patients scheduled for surgery – MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO PRESERVE YOUR TUMOR – it is very important – it will open doors you did not know exist…. immune therapy, tumorgraphs, sensitivity essays, and a number of trials… ask your doctor and do your homework….

    It is just ironic how important our own tumor is for ones therapy, and what is more ironic is how little we know about it.
    Thank you for all your efforts Robin!! wonderful !!

    • Robyn says:

      Hi Paula, Thank you so very much for sharing your experience. I too am a HUGE proponent of preserving your tumor for personalized testing. You are 100% right on in saying this can open doors you did not know exist. Sending you love & light…. and wishes for a very successful trial. Keep the faith Paula… xoxoxoxo Best, Robyn

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