Personalized Cancer Medicine
Everybody deserves to be treated differently
What is PCM?
The definition of personalized cancer medicine is to provide the right treatment to the right patient, at the right dose at the right time. In other words, making sure that each patient gets the best treatment possible based on their own personal condition.
There are many ways to achieve this, and the goal mentioned above is currently approached in several ways. Genetic screens are made on both patients and tumors to identify genetic outliers and specific types of tumors. Treatment plans are set, balancing effect with risk and safety. Patient groups more prone to side effects are identified and offered alternative medications and the dose is adjusted with regard to the patient’s body surface area or weight. Yet, despite all this, there is a long way to go.
Why is PCM important?
Personalizing medication in individuals for the good of the patient is always a goal, no matter what your diagnosis is. But certain patient groups have more to gain from this type of personalized approach, due to the severity of both disease and treatment, and among these you’ll find the cancer patients. All steps of a cancer treatment from radiation, to cytostatic, and endocrine therapy needs to be highly efficient yet also highly regulated due to their impact on the body. The therapeutic window is small, meaning that an efficient treatment borders on one side to a treatment with side effects that might be lethal and, on the other side, to an inefficient treatment that lowers life quality without sufficient effect on the disease or on the life span of the patient. As cancer patients represent an enormous and very varied patient group, the importance of assessing the genetic and metabolic makeup of a patient can not be emphasized enough.
How can we achieve PCM
- Genetic screening of the tumor cells.
- Genetic screening of the patients.
- Identification of risk groups.
- Adjustment of treatment over time.
- Adjustment of active dose based on drug levels in plasma or blood.
- Adjustment of treatment based on toxic effects.