Monday, August 11, 2014

A new understanding of cancer

I read both these articles recently and sort of jumbled them around in my brain and thought about them. They make a lot of sense. There is current medical research which is focusing on a new cancer classification system based on their genetic make up and not on which part of the body they are found.

Think about it. We may call it a head cold or the stomach flu, right? But we know they are different and treat them differently. With cancer, its the same thing. Breast cancer and stomach cancer get different treatments - but they are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation - which are fairly similar. And then doctors wonder why some patient's cancers do not respond to treatment the way other patient's cancers do.

But their genetic make up may very well be the key here.

"In the triple-negative breast tumors, named as such because they lack the three hormone receptors targeted by the most successful therapies, the researchers learned the molecular wiring looked so different from any other breast cancers that they think the disease may warrant a new classification."

There is lots more you can read about this here.

Then Providence Health & Services, which provides care to those in need in the northwestern US, has released a plan to sequence the DNA of cancers - another state of the art leap in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

I call this all progress, in  a good way.

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