April 2016, Vol. 5, No. 3

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Making Strides in Personalizing Medicine


Letter to Our Readers

Dear Colleague,

Benson-pic-98pxThis generation has witnessed amazing advances in the realm of precision medicine. It has learned that making personalized medicine a reality takes forward movement on many fronts—from basic research to novel drugs, from clinical trials to policy. Within our pages, we strive to present the full range of topics affecting our ability to provide the most personalized care to oncology patients today.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dr Douglas R. Lowy, Acting Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), about the recent announcement from the White House calling for a “moonshot” to cure cancer. This influx of funds will allow the NCI to continue its progress in a number of areas to include the NCI-MATCH trial. A complex trial aimed to treat based on genetic mutation as opposed to tissue of origin. Our insightful exchange is the focus of the Interview with the Innovators feature in this issue.

We are proud to present a submission from Drs Jain, Pai, Santa-Maria, and Gradishar of Northwestern University about the state of personalized medicine in breast cancer and the biomarkers that help direct therapy.

In keeping with the theme of breast cancer, we feature a paper in our genetic counseling department from editorial board member and regular column contributor, Cristi Radford, MS, CGC, about RECQL and breast cancer risk.

Colorectal cancer is historically a difficult disease to treat, especially in the advanced stage. In the hope of offering new information to consider for patients fighting this disease, we present a look at immunotherapeutic approaches in colorectal cancer, specifically checkpoint inhibition.

Is there a topic you’d like to see offered in Personalized Medicine in Oncology? Do you have an intriguing case study to share? Please contact us at editorial@personalizedmedonc.com.


Coeditor in Chief
Personalized Medicine in Oncology

Ex Vivo Screening - April 14, 2016

The Rebirth of Ex Vivo Cell Screening for Clinical Use

Interest in high-throughput (HT) ex vivo cell screening of an individual’s cells for personalized cancer treatment is on the upswing, largely due to improvements in technology and assay development. Attempts decades ago to implement the strategy, which assesses the sensitivity and resistance of tumor cells to a panel of drugs [ Read More ]

Genetic Counseling - April 14, 2016

RECQL and Breast Cancer Risk

The number of genes associated with breast cancer risk continues to increase. Recently, through whole exome sequencing, 2 groups of researchers have demonstrated that mutations in RECQL increase the risk of breast cancer.1 The first paper, by Cybulski and colleagues, was published online in Nature Genetics in April 2015, and [ Read More ]