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Cancer is still an enigma for health care professionals

We are in an exciting time in biomedical innovation. Scientific and technological advances are leading to new ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases. Although the progress is exciting, researchers remain relatively unsatisfied, especially when diagnosing and treating cancer. Each diagnosis presents as a unique disease due to different genetic alterations between individual patients, individual tumours, and even within a single tumour. Despite using different therapeutic strategies, multi-drug resistant tumours relapse frequently, making treatment expensive and time-consuming, leaving oncologists searching for alternative treatments.

Paradigm shift from one-size-fits-all to personalized medicine

Personalized cancer care management has become possible purely because of the latest advances in science, technology and therapeutics, along with the understanding of the genetic causes of cancer. The treatment world is beginning to drift away from the ‘one-size-fits-all’ paradigm towards the use of targeted drugs designed specifically for each type of tumour, or in medical parlance, personalized medicine. Personalized medicine, occasionally referred to as precision medicine, tailors treatments to individual patients, considering their genetic makeup, medical history, test results and other distinctive characteristics. This approach encourages the development of specialized treatments for each specific subtype of cancer, by measuring and manipulating key genetic and ‘omics’ data (transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics etc.) for each individual patient. Precision medicine not only helps physicians to make effective treatment decisions by minimizing unnecessary side effects, it also customizes therapies as per the patients’ conditions after analyzing pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics, gene mutations, and electronic health records that link the clinical and molecular information of each patient.

The scope and future of personalized medicine

Many global organizations, research centers and government authorities are embracing the personalized approach to cancer care. Nearly half of the medicines in development today are personalized medicines and three fourth oncology medicines in development are potential personalized medicines. The personalized medicine sphere is still in the nascent stage. Yet, it is advancing at a rapid pace. However, researchers, doctors, health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies, among others, will have to strive harder to channelize the promise of personalized medicine and make it a successful endeavour.


Dr. Rohan Pratap

Senior Scientific Associate

The phamax real-world evidence solutions empower the RWE strategies of companies with a deeper understanding of therapeutic landscapes and market-shaping dynamics. The phamax patient chart review services give pharmaceutical companies advanced inputs on the existing standards of care, healthcare resource utilization and patient-reported outcomes.


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