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  • Dr. Robert A. Nagourney, MD

CHEMOSENSITIVITY TESTING MUST EVOLVE AT ALL MEDICAL PROVIDERS

Today, patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent cancer are offered chemotherapy.

Drugs are administered where possible for cure but far more often to shrink the tumor

making it easier to remove.


But treating people with a drug and then measuring if the tumor shrinks is nothing more

than a chemosensitivity test conducted in your body.


In fact, doctors are very comfortable administering toxic chemotherapies and then

measuring your responses to determine whether they have made a good choice. The

problem with this approach is that you are forced to suffer every side effect and toxicity

to do little more than satisfy your doctor’s curiosity.


We recognized the shortcomings of this trial-and-error approach years ago and pioneered

the concept of doing the drug testing where it belongs; in the test tube.


Despite the enormous value of in vitro chemosensitivity testing, the oncology community

has rejected.


These doctors falsely claim that drugs don’t work the same in the test tube as they

do in the body: Untrue.

Or that drugs that look active in the test tube may not be active in

a patient: Untrue.

Or that these tests can only select drugs that don’t work, and

cannot select those that will: Untrue.


In point of fact, in vitro chemosensitivity testing, the process by which each patient’s

tissue is exposed to drugs in the test tube (ex vivo) has been successfully applied in our

laboratory for over 12,000 patients providing a statistically significant two-fold

improvement in clinical response and a 44% improvement in one-year survival.


When patients are diagnosed with cancer, they have two choices. You can go to a doctor

who will gladly charge you to guess what drug or combination might work or you can

submit tissue to our laboratory and find out what drug or combination actually will work.

The bad old days of using your body to measure cancer chemosensitivity are drawing to a

close, as all enlightened medical scientists are clamoring for our ex vivo approach. We

just happened to be a couple of decades ahead of them.