- 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.