What is Cancer Treatment Monitoring?
Treatment monitoring involves checking in on a regular basis to see how well your current treatment is working. For treatment monitoring to be accurate, it requires the same advanced genetic tests and imaging tools that the precision oncology approach uses for your initial cancer diagnosis. This is because we need specific, current information about your cancer cells in order to determine how well your treatment is working.
To accurately monitor your treatment, CTOAM’s cancer specialists must determine:
- How rapidly your cancer cells are dying
- How much cancer is currently still in your body
- Whether remaining cancer tissue is active or not
- Whether new cancer cells are appearing elsewhere in your body
- How quickly any cancer cells might be proliferating
With this data, our cancer specialists are able to determine whether your treatment plan needs to be adjusted – and, if so, what exact adjustments are needed to ensure success. To obtain this vital information, you need the most advanced diagnostic tools. That’s why CTOAM recommends using:
These advanced tools will reveal the necessary data for an expert to determine how well your treatment is working. This data will also enable them to determine whether a change in treatment is required – and, if so, what that change should be. For accurate treatment monitoring, you not only need data from these advanced tools but an expert trained in analyzing the results.
Best Cancer Treatment Monitoring System
- Liquid biopsy (ctDNA, cfDNA):
This revolutionary tool has made a big impact on cancer treatment monitoring. It allows for accurate treatment monitoring with just a simple blood test that provides vital information about your specific gene mutations and their speed of proliferation, often before they appear on any other type of test.
- Getting this simple blood test done every week (or every two weeks) shows us exactly how well your treatment is working, and what – if anything – needs to change.
- PET/CT scan:
In addition to monitoring the behaviour of any new genetic mutations, we also need to track where, exactly, the tumours are in your body and how much they’ve grown or shrunk in size. To do this, we recommend that you get a PET/CT scan done regularly (usually every few months is fine). A PET/CT scan also identifies whether cancer tissues in your body are active or not.
- Getting a PET/CT scan done will ensure you don’t continue treatment unnecessarily, or stop treatment too soon.
Genetic Tests for Cancer Treatment Monitoring
That advancements in medical science have made these innovative tests possible is a great benefit to cancer patients, both for initial diagnosis and for ongoing treatment monitoring.
With standard treatment, cancer patients are still being asked to undergo an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI – none of which provides accurate nor detailed information about your cancer. Liquid biopsies and PET/CT scans, meanwhile, provide a far more effective way to regularly monitor exactly what your cancer cells are doing, and where they’re doing it.
If you want to confirm that your current treatment is working properly, please contact CTOAM today. Not only will our cancer specialists answer any questions you have, but we’ll also make sure you know all your options for accessing the best tests and treatments that medical science has to offer. You can also book a free consultation with Director of Scientific Research, Alex Rolland, to discuss your case further.