Personalized Medicine and Cancer Companion Diagnostics

Posted: August 6, 2015 at 10:48 pm

Companion Diagnostics are the Key to Personalized Medicine for Cancer

Personalized medicine -- also known as targeted medicine or precision medicine -- is a rapidly-evolving area of healthcare in which treatment for a medical condition such as cancer is tailored to the individual patient and his or her biology. There should be no one-size-fits-all approach to medicine. The goal of personalized medicine is to prescribe the right medicine to the right patient at the right time and avoid the trial-and-error treatment paradigm.

If, for example, a woman has ovarian cancer caused by a genetic mutation, personalized medicine may enable her to be treated with a chemotherapy shown to be effective in individuals with that specific mutation.1

Companion diagnostics are the medical tests that make personalized medicine possible. Designed to be paired with a specific drug, companion diagnostics help healthcare professionals determine which patients could be helped by that drug and which patients would not benefit, or could even be harmed.

Unlike other laboratory developed tests, companion diagnostic tests are reviewed and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is the gold standard for ensuring safety, effectiveness and quality. FDA approval gives physicians confidence they are receiving the highest quality test result on a consistent basis.

BRACAnalysis CDx is an FDA-approved companion diagnostic that helps to identify women with advanced ovarian cancer with germline BRCA1/2 mutations who have completed three or more lines of chemotherapy and might benefit from treatment with Lynparza (olaparib).

Myriad myChoice HRD is a tumor tissue test that measures deficiencies in the DNA-repair mechanism of cancer cells and may help identify more of the cancer patients who are most likely to benefit from certain types of DNA-damaging chemotherapy agents.

Personalized medicine is the future of healthcare, not just for cancer, but for disease in general. Companion diagnostics will be critical tools that all physicians will need in their toolbox as healthcare moves forward. In addition to cancer, companion diagnostics hold promise in the treatment of other chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune disorders and diabetes.

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Personalized Medicine and Cancer Companion Diagnostics

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