2015 Antineoplastics

WHAT IS MEANT BY CANCER TYPE?

"Although it might be categorised as a certain type of tumour - e.g. a breast tumour - every tumour is, in fact, unique. This is partly why one patient with nominally the same tumour responds well to a certain treatment, while the patient in the next bed does not." Professor Hilmar Warenius, Director of the Oncology Research Unit, Liverpool University's Department of Medicine (1999)

  • with respect to determining chemotherapeutic treatment success, the generic term "cancer" is meaningless - certain cancers respond to certain drugs, and others do not

  • definition of "cancer type" is rapidly evolving, particularly with respect to defining subtypes on a molecular level - this ability to be more specific with respect to cancer characteristics has huge implications for therapy and can explain some of the large differences in patient response to existing drugs
  • in the future, the ability to precisely define a tumour's fundamental characterisics, and to predict a patient's response to medication (esp. CYT P450 profiling), will allow tailoring of specific treatments to specific patients ---- i.e., personalized medicine
Email: Dr. Janet Fitzakerley | ©2015 University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth | Last modified: 11-apr-15 9:39 AM