Monday, November 21, 2011

Creating a Cancer DNA Database: UK | StrongerThanCancer

Creating a Cancer DNA Database: UK | StrongerThanCancer

This is an interesting project.

It doesn't directly impact the patients who participate today, but interesting to think that drugs in the future will be targeted to the patient's dna. Or, not so much the targeting, but decisions about drugs can be more informed because we will have better information about whether a patient is likely to respond to treatment.

This has the potential to have so many more patients surviving cancer, and living much healthier lives - mainly because I think the outcome will be LESS toxic treatments. Less patients will be given chemotherapy if it's not likely to have a benefit - and this will reduce unnecessary treatments, deaths and other serious side effects due to unnecessary treatments.

Chemotherapy is effective in some cancers - let it become a targeted therapy, rather than the fall back drug for anyone with cancer.

In Questioning ChemotherapyRalph Moss explains the many ways the chemotherapy is mis-used. There are political, but also medical reasons (the patient wants to do anything to fight the cancer, even if the benefit is slim for their particular cancer) reasons for the broad use of chemotherapy - but I hope one day it becomes a therapy only used for the cancers that it's most effective for.

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