Doctors recognize that every patient is unique and try to tailor treatment as best they can. Today, you can match a blood transfusion to a blood type. What if matching a cancer cure to our genetic code was just as routine? What if figuring out the right dose of chemotherapy was as simple as taking our temperature?
Precision medicine aims to collect, connect and apply vast troves of research data and information about human health to understand why individuals respond differently to treatments, and to help guide more precise and pre-emptive medicine. The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center is one of six founding members of the Precision Medicine Exchange Consortium, which promotes collaboration and data sharing between cancer centers. As a member, SKCC shares—and receives—information, data and clinical trials to provide the best therapies for our patients and advance the research of our faculty members.
Cancer develops when damage to the genetic code in cells causes them to grow and divide uncontrollably, eventually forming malignant tumors. Scientists have discovered that each patient’s cancer is driven by a unique combination of DNA changes, collectively termed its tumor “profile.”
The goal of precision cancer medicine is to tailor treatment to the genetic characteristics of the individual patient’s cancer—selecting drugs and doses matched to the tumor profile. In some cancer types, precision cancer medicine can decrease the negative side effects and increase the effectiveness of treatment.
Before precision medicine, there was a one-size-fits-all approach to cancer treatment which led to successful outcomes for some patients, but not others. Now, with the research that we are doing at SKCC, we can take into account an individual’s genes, environment and lifestyle to provide a treatment as unique as they are.
You can help us. Philanthropic support fuels every aspect of our work. Your generosity provides our team with the resources we need to target treatments, develop research, and, in the end, cure cancer.