I love the quote by Sir William Osler, the Father of Modern Medicine “If it were not for the great variability among individuals, medicine might have well been a science & not an art.” Did Sir Osler know something in the early 1900’s that we are just starting to understand now???
I just found out about yet another novel approach to personalized cancer care and tumor testing (it is absolutely amazing what people are doing to help cure cancer)… check out Intervention Insights.
Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)…
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, because each person on the planet is uniquely different, their cancer will have it’s own unique characteristics or molecular profile. This explains how the same cancer in two different people can grow differently, progress differently & respond differently to the exact same treatments. So, deductive reasoning (yes Dad, I did pay attention to some things in school) says the solution lies in personalizing treatments to match the individual.
Intervention Insights takes yet another novel approach to personalizing medicine. In a nutshell, Intervention Insights analyzes a tumor at the molecular level to create a “picture” using over 22,000 potential genes. They then align known drug therapies (using both cancer fighting & non-cancer fighting drugs) with the molecular information taken from that tumor.
The goal is to see what known drug therapies will work on the unique molecular composition of a specific cancer in a specific person’s body. Once the testing is complete, your Oncologist receives a report detailing which known therapies target the molecular make-up of your exact tumor as well as any drug resistances that may be found. But they need fresh tumor to do this… so you need to decide if you want this testing PRIOR to your surgery.
Definitely check out Intervention Insights if you have a rare cancer or if the first treatment regimen didn’t do it’s job. But I must tell you… after having gone through the year from hell, I personally would opt to do tumor testing right from the beginning. Intervention Insights can turnaround these tests in 5-7 days. Although these sort of tumor tests may not give you the miracle answer, they might… You see, the challenge is that today, scientists only know to look for a relatively small # of gene expressions & mutations… but this # is growing daily. And the # of people that are living longer with cancer or being cured from cancer is also growing day by day too.
And candidly, since I’m a “cover all your bases kinda gal”, I wish I had known more about personalized medicine and personalized oncology back at the beginning of our journey. Alan’s cancer was down-right drug-resistant and although taking a personalized & novel approach to Alan’s cancer earlier may not have changed the outcome, I do believe with all my heart that it did extend his life by 6-7 months. And boy, what my family wouldn’t do for another 6-7 quality months with Alan.
If you have worked with Intervention Insights, or know anyone who has, please post some information. Knowledge is power. Share the power!