Precision medicine is a hot topic right now, but what does the phrase even mean?
In short, with precision medicine, patients receive treatment based on the individual characteristics of their tumor.
When it comes to pancreatic tumors, we know they are not all alike – which means they shouldn’t be treated as though they are.
At the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, we strongly recommend molecular profiling of your tumor to help determine the best treatment options.
Molecular profiling is a scientific process that tells you the biological details of your tumor, including genetic mutations and protein changes. It is important to consider this information because a treatment that works well for one person may not work as well for someone else. Molecular profiling is a tool used to guide precision medicine, also called personalized medicine.
Here are five things to know about molecular profiling and precision medicine:
- Studies have shown that treatments based on your tumor’s biology may increase their success.
- If you are already undergoing surgery or biopsy, you can ask that a sample of the tissue collected be used for molecular profiling.
- Molecular profiling can help you and your medical team determine clinical trials that may be best for you.
- Molecular profiling can reveal genetic mutations and protein changes that may be receptive to treatments that would not otherwise have been considered. These include off-label treatments – drugs approved to treat a different condition (another cancer, for example) – some of which may be targeted therapies. Targeted therapy drugs attack unique aspects of cancer cells, like specific genetic mutations or proteins.
- Genetic mutations in cells happen two ways: a mutation may be inherited from a person’s parent (known as a germline mutation) or it may arise during a person’s lifetime (known as a somatic mutation). Most cancers arise from somatic mutations, and both types of mutations can be important to direct a patient’s precision treatment options.
Our Know Your Tumor® precision medicine service gives eligible pancreatic cancer patients across the country access to molecular profiling, and we cover the cost of the coordination service that has the tissue sent to be tested and creates the report.
More than 1,000 patients have enrolled in Know Your Tumor to gain access to valuable molecular profiling. Contact Patient Central today to learn more about Know Your Tumor and to determine if this service is right for you.