Breakthroughs in Cancer Treatment
One of the reasons why precision oncology is so effective is because it enables us to take advantage of the most up-to-date scientific discoveries in cancer research and drug development. The use of a new class of drugs – called immune checkpoint inhibitors – is a great example of this. These drugs are known to have excellent results for cancer patients with certain genetic mutations (in this case, the PD-1 expression) in their tumours.
- Because of these successful results, we usually make it a priority to screen our clients for the PD-1 expression so we know as soon as possible whether these new drugs will benefit them. The tests that reveal whether immune checkpoint inhibitors are likely to be effective are called MMR and MSI tests.
- If these tests show that the patient does have the PD-1 expression in their tumour(s), we’re then able to make a case with an oncologist or clinical trial for starting them on these new drugs immediately.
- And it’s often possible to get the drug cost covered through the patient’s health insurance, with proof from these tests.
- Suffice it to say, many of our patients are able to begin this new treatment within a maximum of 10 days from when the lab gets the sample.
At CTOAM, our cancer specialists ensure that you get access to MMR and MSI testing, immediately. This allows us to identify the best treatment protocol for you, as soon as possible.
Benefits of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
"Checkpoint inhibitors are coming into widespread use and are being tried in advanced types of cancer for which standard chemotherapy offers little hope."
- Immune checkpoint inhibitor: A new class of drugs that benefit cancer patients with certain types of gene mutations.
- "A major breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy was the discovery of immune checkpoint proteins, which function to effectively inhibit the immune system through various mechanisms."
- "Clinical responses have been seen in melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and several other tumor types."
- PD-1/L inhibitors: A type of immune checkpoint inhibitor drug that provides excellent outcomes for some cancer patients.
- Cancer patients who respond to these drugs typically also have PD-1 expression in their tumours (although this is not always the case, it is true for many).
- Therefore, we almost always have our clients get MMR and MSI testing to know whether they’re likely to benefit from these often life-saving drugs.
Tests for MMR and MSI Immunotherapy
- Mismatch Repair (MMR) and Microsatellite Instability (MSI) test: A test that quickly identifies whether or not a new class of drugs (immune checkpoint inhibitors) will benefit you.
- This test predicts responsiveness to PD-1/L inhibitors and other immunotherapies.
- Therefore, it provides an extra level of confidence that immune checkpoint inhibitors will be effective in these patients.
- The data from this test allows physicians and clinical trial sites to have immediate confidence in prescribing these beneficial drugs.
So getting these tests done will help us to determine whether this new class of drugs (immune checkpoint inhibitors) is likely to work for you. And the test results give us the documentation needed to get you access to the drugs through your oncologist or a clinical trial – as quickly as possible. If the tests show that immunotherapy will benefit you, then the sooner you begin treatment the sooner you can start feeling better.
The Future of Cancer Tests and Treatment, Today
And while these new drugs currently aren’t being offered by standard care, experts in the field agree that, with time, immunotherapy will absolutely become the standard in cancer care. In the meantime, precision oncology services like CTOAM are here to ensure that you have access to these life-saving drugs – and the tests to prove you need them – now.
It’s also important to note that new immunotherapy drugs are being developed every day. When you become a CTOAM client, you will receive all updates about new developments in drugs that might benefit you. This is the promise of precision oncology, and the commitment that CTOAM makes to our clients.
If you or a loved one has received a cancer diagnosis and would like to know whether immunotherapy might benefit them, please email or call us today. Our cancer specialists will be happy to provide all the information you need.
Register for a Precision Second Opinion to discuss your particular situation in more detail. Time is of the essence with cancer – and getting more information can only help, when it comes to your health.