Most medical centers offer a gene test. These tests are known as genomic analyses.
These use the patient's DNA to look for mutations and other changes in each patient's gene makeup that might guide drug selection. Although the concept is appealing, in reality, a minority of patients have genetic changes that can be used for therapy.
Indeed, several clinical trials have failed to show meaningful benefit for patients with advanced cancer who received genomic-test selected drugs, except for a very small number of well-established targets like HER2 in breast, BCR-abl in leukemia and EGFr and ALK in lung.
This reflects the exptremely complex nature of human cancer and the fact that genes are only the beginning of the long process of cancer development. Each human cancer reflects all of its genes both mutated and normal acting together to create what we recognize as a malignant tumor.
Only functional analyses can capture each patient's tumor in real time and provide insights that can inform drug selection and treatment decisions.
This is why we use functional profiling which is different than genomic testing and is a “real-time” analysis of how cancer cells actually respond when exposed to various treatment options. Living tumor cells are kept in clusters (microspheroids) that mimic the body’s environment.
By examining cancer cells in their native state, to include cell-cell, cell-stromal (connective tissue), cell-vasculature (circulatory) and inflammatory processes, we take a snapshot of how they behave when exposed to various drugs, combinations and new targeted therapies.
These microspheroids reflect the complex elements of the body’s cellular environment which has proven critical for the accurate prediction of clinical response.
We isolate these 3-dimensional structures directly from each patient's tumor to test drugs and combinations. It is because we capture cancer in its native state that our approach is the most accurate platform for response prediction.
With these results, you and your doctors are equipped with personalized information to make the most informed decision to treat YOUR cancer.
Truly personalized cancer therapy that works.