“Precision Medicine” transforming cancer care- now available at IOSPL

Precision medicine is an approach to identify molecular changes in the tumor (such as DNA) to devise the most appropriate treatment plan. This strategy is helping not only to increase the likelihood of tumor control but also find ways to reduce side effects.

Generally, if one of the treatments does not work, physicians rely on their best judgement to move to the next line of treatment. With precision medicine, it is becoming possible to identify molecular targets in cancer which would respond to customized treatments.

This is a technology which detects a comprehensive profile of genetic aberrations/mutations in cancer tissue through a technique known as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). We are not living in an era where targeted therapies are available for certain cancer types based on whether they harbor these genetic abnormalities. Through NGS we can detect these across a much larger spectrum of tumor types which can then help to identify the right customized treatment for a patient. This can sometimes help patients avoid toxic chemotherapy.

A good analogy is “lock and key”. Think of NGS as a technique which identifies the lock in cancer. Depending on what type of lock is detected, we use a key (targeted therapy) which is specific to the lock.

Process if simple and straightforward. Patient’s cancer tissue sample is sent for specialized laboratory testing and the results usually take 3-4 weeks.

IOSPL is partnering with leading international research laboratories (USA) to bring this innovative technology to our patients.