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Targeted treatments

The promise of modern cancer treatment: targeted treatment of tumors

During recent years, a paradigm shift has been observed in cancer treatment, which has two main elements. One element is that there is an increasing number of therapeutic options that, alone or in combination with traditional treatment forms, provide a significant improvement in the condition of the patients.

Targeted anticancer therapies show an unbroken development. New targeted drugs are constantly approved, and almost four hundred drug molecules are studied for targeted therapy worldwide. This is a huge number and expresses the volume of research in this domain. During the next years, a genuine explosion can be expected on the market of targeted drugs and a marked increase will be observed in the number of anticancer drugs that provide targeted treatment for suitable patients.

The other element of the paradigm shift is a new insight that could not be considered trivial by oncologists, not even at the beginning. Now it is unequivocal what was accepted only by a few some years ago. Irrespective of the histological or anatomical unit to which the tumor belongs, the efficiency of the targeted treatment will depend on the gene defects in the genetic material of the tumor cells.

If a target is found, a targeted treatment is the best solution

Targeted antitumor therapy is not necessarily an effective therapy for all patients. But if the answer is positive, dramatic differences may be often observed compared with earlier results.

The first condition of a successful treatment is to know the target of the drug. This is why a molecular diagnostic test is required. If the target is present in the tumor cells, the targeted drug will be more or less effective. This means that better results may be achieved using combining the targeted drug with traditional treatments or even without these treatments than with any of the earlier options.

If the tumor cells do not contain the target required for the targeted treatment, the test was still not unnecessary. In this case, it is certain that traditional treatment forms should be administered to you and your relatives at the present time. In these cases, targeted treatment may still be possible at a later time. The identification of gene defects functioning as targets for drugs is conducted on an ongoing basis, so a targeted treatment may be recommended for you or your relatives in a few years, which could lead to a significant improvement in the patient’s condition.

The secret of the targeted treatments: they inhibit the defective protein

The targets for modern targeted anticancer drugs are proteins that became defective because of the gene defects present in the genetic material of the cells. As we mentioned above, the identification of these gene defects is vigorously conducted on an ongoing basis. Several thousand tumor tissue samples are studied in medical research centers worldwide, therefore new research results related to possible drug targets become available almost on a daily basis. (The database containing the gene defects related to tumor formation, monitored by our specialists on a daily basis, is accessible online by anyone on the webpage of the SANGER Institute: Catalogue Of Somatic Mutations In Cancer).

We designed ONCOMPASS All Program, to include testing the tumor tissue samples sent to us for all currently known gene defects, and to subsequently identify the modern targeted anticancer treatment that can be administered.

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