How tomorrow’s cancer care will be tailored to each patient

Phillip's research team member, Henk van Houten, discusses how soon cancer treatment will soon be tailored to the individual patient based on precision diagnosis and an informed coversation between physician and patient. 

 Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Philip's website. 

Tracing back to the days of Hippocrates around 400 B.C., cancer used to be spoken of as a single disease. It is an image that still lingers in the public perception of cancer. But in medicinetoday, we know that cancer really has multiple subtypes on a molecular level. Even cancers with the same site of origin, like lung cancer, can be very different from one person to the other – and respond differently to the same treatment.

Apart from the cancer itself, every patient is different. Some may be relatively fit while others suffer from multiple chronic diseases. It is another reason why bespoke treatment is needed, based on precision diagnosis and an informed conversation between patient and physician. 

But while the concept of personalized care has become a cornerstone of oncology research and cancer treatment over the last few decades, it remains riddled with challenges.

Multidisciplinary care teams struggle with bringing together and keeping track of all relevant information pertaining to the patient – from a variety of subspecialty reports to information about the patient’s current health condition and history, as well as life circumstances. Deciding on the right therapy is equally complex. As our understanding of the heterogeneity of cancer has grown, so has the number of treatment options. Physicians and patients face a bewildering number of choices.

Yet major progress is being made. Click here to continue>> 



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