Benefits of Precision Oncology
Precision oncology is the most successful approach to cancer care that medical science has to offer. Studies have shown that tumour shrinkage rates and progression-free survival are greatly improved with precision oncology. Personalized cancer medicine approaches cancer treatment from multiple angles, all of which focus on precision. Diagnostic imaging tools, detailed genomic tests, and targeted therapies all work together to create a precise diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Best way to find cancer
- PET/CT scans provide far more detailed information than standard imaging tools: they pinpoint exactly where the cancer is, as well as its aggressiveness.
- Standard imaging tools such as ultrasounds and standard blood tests simply do not provide enough detail, and therefore are often inaccurate.
- Many treatment plans based on results from ultrasound or CT are course-corrected after getting a PET/CT scan.
- PET/CT scans also improve the accuracy of treatment monitoring.
- Best way to diagnose cancer
- Advanced tests like detailed genomic sequencing panels and liquid biopsies are able to determine exactly what mutations are driving your cancer.
- Clinical research has shown that when cancer treatments are guided by tumour DNA sequencing, patients experience longer cancer-free survival rates (remissions), longer progression-free survival, improved overall survival, fewer hospital visits, fewer side effects, and overall better health.1
- Best way to treat cancer
- Targeted therapies have better treatment outcomes than standard treatment. For example, breast cancers have a much better prognosis (almost a 100% five-year survival rate at Stage 1; around 22% at Stage 4).
- When targeted therapy is used as the first approach, the prognosis is statistically much better.
- "In trials using precision medicine, tumour shrinkage rates were 30.6% compared with only 4.9% in those that did not."
- Targeted therapies are less invasive, and have fewer and less severe side effects than standard treatment.
- There are new targeted therapies emerging each day.
Precision Oncology is the Future of Cancer Treatment
Precision oncology not only benefits individuals but also society in general: the speed and efficiency at which scientific progress is being made in this area creates an ongoing ripple effect.
- Faster clinical trials
- Precision oncology creates greater efficiency in clinical trials, which enables more people to partake in them.
- This increases the amount of people who have access to the latest advancements in medical science and drug therapy.
- New drugs to market
- The scientific progress that comes from investing in precision oncology also leads to new drugs being tested and approved faster.
- These life-saving drugs then become more quickly accessible to the cancer patients who need them.
- Newer drugs are coming out every day that target different mutations, and provide solutions to drug resistance problems.
- More efficient treatment
- When more cancer patients are able to receive targeted therapy from the very start of their treatment, they’re able to recover much more quickly, with far less damage to the body.
- In addition to being better for the patient, a faster recovery timeline also saves a lot of money (whether out-of-pocket or government-funded) as well as time invested in other, longer treatments that often fail anyway.
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1 Garraway LA, Verweij J & Ballman KV. Precision oncology: an overview. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2013;31, 1803–1805. Available at: http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/jco.2013.49.4799