Institute for Precision Medicine Offers New Strategies for Approaching Cancer Treatment

Dr. Himisha Beltran and her team of researchers at the Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital have published findings in the May 28 edition of JAMA Oncology that offer new insight into treatment options for resistant cancers. Genetic sequencing has allowed oncologists to further classify and predict the behavior of many cancers, allowing patients to receive treatments that are more tailored to their cancer’s unique mutations. Traditionally this has meant hunting for specific mutations in a patient’s cancer, but new advances in exome sequencing could streamline this process and offer physicians new precision in choosing the right treatments for their patients.

“Most institutions are using focused or panel sequencing to look at a few hot spot mutation areas in cancer,” said senior author Dr. Mark Rubin, the institute’s director, and the Homer T. Hirst III Professor of Oncology in Pathology and a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell. “But we believe that Whole Exome Sequencing, which tests more than 21,000 genes in the cancer’s exome, the DNA that is transcribed into RNA, is ideal for patients with advanced cancer where we dont know where the mutations of resistance are.”

Read more at the Cornell Chronicle.

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