Understanding Precision Medicine for Cancer.

We often hear of Precision Medicine for Cancer, but what is Precision Medicine, how is it different from standard treatment protocols and what can be the benefits for choosing Precision Medication over standard protocols?

The diagnosis and treatment of cancer at a cellular or molecular level is known as Precision Medicine.

Precision medicine : Tailored medication for cancer based on specific patients, genetic profile .

Cancer is a heterogenous disease, with different genetic profile not only between patients with different cancers but also differences in genetic , molecular and cellular profile even within the same type of cancer.

All cancers are genetic by nature and with cellular profile changing over time even in the same patient, till now no single drug is known to cure even a single type of cancer let alone different types of cancer’s.

Standard chemotherapy protocols focus of administering standard chemotherapy drugs ( one size fits all) without taking into account cellular or genetic profile of the patient.

Precision medicine on the other hand focuses on accurate and effective treatment to each patient based on the genetic profile, the proteins feeding the tumours or the cancers.

There are sufficient number of detractors even amongst the best doctors but precision medicine or administering drugs based not a specific tailored patient profile not being the best option is a pre mature conclusion.

This week being Breast Cancer week, let’s shed some light on Precision medicine for breast cancer.

Breast cancer treatment in India beyond surgical options of lumpectomy, mastectomy involves administering chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with chemotherapy being the first line of treatment.

Difference in outcomes depends upon whether the patient has been tested for HER2(human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), ER, PR or not.

For patients testing positive for HER 2, addition of trastuzumab to chemotherapy slows down disease progression. Lapatinib plus chemotherapy (i.e., capecitabine) achieved a longer median time to disease progression compared with chemotherapy alone.

A combination of pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and chemotherapy further improved the median overall survival time to a median of almost 5 years compared with a combination of only trastuzumab and chemotherapy for a median of 3 and half years.

Similarly treatment with ado-trastuzumab emtansine, a conjugate of a HER2 monoclonal antibody and a cytotoxic drug, significantly improved the length of progression-free survival and overall survival with lower adverse effects when compared with lapatinib and chemotherapy

The above examples clearly show how genetic profiling, identification of key mutations like the Bcr-Ablfusion or HER2 can benefit a large number of breast cancer patients.

Genetic profiling also enables identification of molecular targets for intervention.Cell death is caused by a combination of deficiencies in the expression of two or more genes, whereas deficiency in only one of these genes can increase viability or enhance multiplication of mutant cells. For example, BRCA (mutant gene responsible for particularly aggressive breast cancers( and poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) genes were found to have a synthetic lethal relationship.

For example, by using olaparib, a PARP inhibitor, to treat BRCA-mutant ovarian cancer patients, the progression-free survival of BRCA-mutant ovarian cancer patients was significantly prolonged by olaparib compared with standard chemotherapy protocols.

This methodology focusses on identifying cancer vulnerabilities and subsequent tailored treatment based on patient profile.

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Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer

Being Diagnosed with breast cancer, can be an overwhelming experience especially when one has been healthy throughout
without any symptoms at all.

What are the treatment options when the mamogram says “Cancer”.

Although cancer is not a disease which any one should have, it is possible to offer curative treatment at early stages and
palliative treatment for late stage cancers.

Breast Cancer Treatment Options:

The treatment options for breast cancer, totally depend upon the stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis.

For early stage cancers, when the cancer has not really spread to other parts of the body, surgery is a good option.

For early stage breast cancer, we have surgical options such as lumpectomy, mastectomy with and without reconstruction.

For late stage cancers, chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour and control the disease is the first line of
treatment, followed by radiation and hormone therapy.

The long term survival rate of someone diagnosed with breast cancer is based on the spread of the disease. Such
characteristics will include the size of the tumor, whether there are hormonal receptors found on the tumor itself and the
tumor grades.

Breast Cancer Treatment Cost:

Cost of breast cancer treatment in India varies depending on whether surgery is required or not.

Surgery costs vary between us 4500-6000. Chemotherapy costs usd 1000 onwards depending upon drugs administered. Radiotherapy costs us 3500 onwards for a 6 week duration.

Breast cancer treatment cost in India is a variable of whether just one or a combination of treatment options which may be
required based on stage, grade of cancer at the time of diagnosis.

Factors such as age may also play an important part on which treatment a patient should undergo.

To get a free second opinion and an estimated cost of breast cancer treatment in India,

Consult Now

To know more on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer,

Read More.

Breast cancer

Certain hormones such as estrogen and progesterone play important role in development of cancer. Estrogen promotes cell growth and progesterone causes cell maturation and stabilization. It is in the growth phase that cell undergoes malignant transformation, i.e. cancer formation occurs. Therefore, factors such as early menarche, which start of menses, late menopause that is stopping of menses, alcohol, obesity and lack of exercise, stress, etc cause increased estrogen exposure and increase the chances of developing  Breast cancer.