What are targeted therapies?
Chemotherapy is no longer the only option against cancer, there are now more than 580 targeted therapies available to treat solid tumors.
Targeted cancer therapies are new drugs that kill cancer cells but do not affect normal cells compared with chemotherapy which kills both cancer cells and normal cells.
Targeted therapies are the cornerstone of personalized medicine, a form of medicine that uses information about a person’s DNA profile to treat cancer.
TARGETED THERAPIES AND CHEMOTHERAPY: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
- Targeted therapies are much more effective than chemotherapy because they have been designed to specifically hit their target mutations which are present only in cancer cells. This means normal cells are unaffected by the treatment thereby minimising toxic side effects.
- Most of the targeted therapies are pills that are given orally and therefore don’t require hospital admission.
- Targeted therapies are much less toxic than traditional chemotherapy that indeed causes the killing of normal cells and results in serious side effects such as hair loss, nausea and vomiting, infections and anaemia.
MATCHING A PATIENT TO THE CORRECT TREATMENT
Every person’s tumor is unique due to the different types of cancer DNA mutations acquired during the development of the disease so the same targeted treatment does not work for everyone, a molecular profiling of cancer cells is needed to detect the correct DNA mutations.
DNA Molecular Profiling is not a new technology, in the last decade there was hundreds of Molecular profiling tests but they all lack the direct linkage with therapy, for this reason oncologists were acting on limited information to try and match one of these anti-cancer drugs to an individual’s tumor and, given the vast array of different tumor types with very different genetic backgrounds, the probability of getting the correct match was really low.
For this reason here at Oncologica Lab, we have invested heavily in having a technology that allows to link the single genetic mutation with the most appropriate targeted therapy with a single cancer test. But now is here: Oncofocus DNA Cancer Test
Oncofocus, developed in 2014 is a dynamic test which is updated every three months to incorporate the most up-to-date genomic information linked to targeted therapies. 237 genes are currently targeted using 2530 unique amplicons covering oncogenes, fusion genes, genes susceptible to copy number variation and tumour suppressors.
The detected mutations are then directly matched to the most appropriate anti-cancer drugs which have been designed to specifically target these particular mutations and currently includes 585 targeted therapies or therapy combinations.
Oncofocus cancer test links the majority of targeted anti-cancer drugs available today, including FDA and EMA approved drugs or carrying NCCN and ESMO guideline references to virtually all cancer types.
The test also identifies all drugs currently in clinical trials (Phases I-IV) worldwide.
The Oncofocus Cancer test is performed on the routine histology biopsy sample stored at your hospital and can be sent to us in the post. Other tests require specialist shipment and processing using fresh tissue.