Personalized therapy for lung cancer, which takes each tumor’s specific genetic characteristics, is a new approach that has been proven to significantly improve survival rates, even in patients with advanced stage cancers.
Lung cancer is the deadliest of cancers, responsible for approximately one third of all oncology-related deaths. It has long been considered problematic to treat with standard therapy protocols often having only a limited effect. However, a new approach involving thorough investigation of the tumor’s properties, which concentrates on developing a personalized treatment protocol for each patient, has remarkably improved this statistic.
After the patient’s tumor is biopsied, the material is sent for FoundationOne testing, which provides exact and detailed information about the malignant growth’s genetic profile, including the genes responsible for its progression and spread. This helps experts pinpoint the best treatment option for each individual case (including those which might not have otherwise been considered and clinical trials).
A joint Israel-American clinical trial involved 100 Israeli patients aged 20-84 with advanced lung cancer. 80% of the patients had their tumor biopsied; the remaining 20% submitted blood samples. 45 patients had their treatment protocol altered based on the highly accurate diagnostic procedures’ results. In other words, had it not been for the genetic testing, almost half the patients would’ve continued receiving ineffective therapy.
Naturally, improved treatment protocols had a positive effect on both survival rates and patients’ condition. Over 50% of patients were still alive two and a half years into the study, and approximately one third improved to the point where they could resume working.
So far, approximately 80 thousand people from all over the world have undergone genetic testing. Once all the investigations have been completed, each patient receives an in-depth report detailing genetic mutation in the tumor’s and a list of all potentially beneficial therapy protocols and clinical trials.