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Understanding Cancer Series

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  • Posted: 10/20/2009

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Slide 14

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Can Genome-Wide Profiles Inform Cancer Treatment Planning?

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Yes. Certain gene changes have already been associated with cancer prognosis. If therapies are available that target genes, proteins, or pathways that appear, on the basis of genome-wide profiling, to be altered in tumors, these can be used to try to treat the patient. Researchers and clinicians are also analyzing large genomic profile databases to help match patients to the best possible treatments. The genomic profile of a newly diagnosed patient is compared with previous patients' genomic profiles, which are linked to information about how these patients were treated and responded to their treatment. This approach will allow newly diagnosed patients to be given treatments that were effective against cancers with similar genetic profiles.

Graphic shows how colon cancer patients are first sorted by their genome-wide profiles, and, based on the results, those with a mutated gene called K-ras are given a certain targeted therapy.