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What is Personalized Cancer Therapy?

Personalized Medicine

Personalized medicine is the use of genetic markers and/or pharmacogenomic testing to tailor an individual's preventative care or therapy.*
*Adapted from Nature Rev Genetics 5(12):955

Goal of Personalized Medicine

"The goal is personalized therapy that takes into account the genetics of the cancer and the patient."
-- John Mendelsohn

An Example of Personalized Cancer Therapy


The BATTLE (Biomarker - Integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination) program, developed in 2005 for four years, sought to establish individualized targeted therapy by prospectively examining patient’s tumor biomarker profiles and assigning them to corresponding targeted therapies with the expectation to yield a better clinical outcomes. The overall goal was to provide a strong, rationale-based targeted treatment strategy through a program that capitalized on our rich understanding of lung cancer biology, our capability to develop and analyze biomarkers, our experience with clinical trial implementation and enrollment of large numbers of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and the availability of several agents that target the critical signaling pathways in lung cancer. This novel approach established proof-of-principle of molecular-based individualized targeted therapy for lung cancer patients.

Edward S. Kim, Roy S. Herbst, Ignacio I. Wistuba, J. Jack Lee, George R. Blumenschein, Jr., Anne Tsao, David J. Stewart, Marshall E. Hicks, Jeremy Erasmus, Jr., Sanjay Gupta, Christine M. Alden, Suyu Liu, Ximing Tang, Fadlo R. Khuri, Hai T. Tran, Bruce E. Johnson, John V. Heymach, Li Mao, Frank Fossella, Merrill S. Kies, Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou, Suzanne E. Davis, Scott M. Lippman, and Waun K. Hong. The BATTLE Trial: Personalizing Therapy for Lung Cancer. Cancer Discovery 1:44-53, 2011.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center