Personalized Cancer Care/Drug Development Platform
Since the sequencing of the human genome in 2003, scientists have the ability to identify patients' susceptibility to many types of cancer and their response to specific treatments based on their genetic makeup. NCI is developing personalized cancer prevention and treatment approaches based on this knowledge. The Personalized Cancer Care/Drug Development Platform comprises a number of existing NCI programs ranging from discovery of genetic changes, to clinical applications for patients in the community, each of which is receiving direct Recovery Act funding to expand and accelerate their efforts.
Why is the Personalized Cancer Care/Drug Development Platform Receiving Recovery Act Funding?
Personalized cancer care is the future of medicine. The faster we can develop cancer treatments that are tailored to the individual characteristics of each patient, the better we can concentrate interventions on those who will benefit the most from them and avoid the expense, side effects and emotional involvement on those who will not.
NCI has selected the Personalized Cancer Care/Drug Development Platform as a Signature Initiative because of the enormous promise this approach to cancer care holds: preventing, detecting, and treating cancer will become even more precise as we identify genetic alterations through accumulated knowledge and increasingly sophisticated technologies.
The following NCI programs, all of which are well underway, make up the platform based on their reliance to one another in the drug development and delivery process:
- The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) is developing a comprehensive catalogue of genomic changes found in adult cancers;
- Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) is mapping the genetic changes associated with childhood cancers;
- The Cancer Human Biobank (caHUB) leads quality biospecimen collection and management;
- The NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) involves patients around the country who provide data and volunteer for clinical trials; and
How will Recovery Act Funding Impact the Personalized Cancer Care/Drug Development Platform?
The main impact of Recovery Act funding will be on jobs creation and acquisition of new technologies, both vital to accelerating personalized drug development and delivery. Funding will preserve and create a large number of jobs in academia and private industry, including scientists, physicians, computer scientists, laboratory technicians and bioinformaticians, and will spur technological advances in science and health. With sustained funding, this model of personalized cancer care may even be applied to the study and management of other diseases.