Traditionally, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery were the only means by which doctors could treat cancer. With precision/personalized medicine, doctors use a patient's genes to uncover clues for treating the disease.
Clinicians and scientists are using next-generation sequencing tools to gain insight into each patient’s disease, to treat cancer at the genomic level which is having a profound impact on cancer care.
Using genomic science, scientist can perform gene sequencing and locate cancer causing genes and with the ability to now sequence DNA, scientist can tell the patient which genes turn cancer on and which genes turn cancer off. This allows them to understand at a genomic level what is fueling a patient's cancer to grow.
With precision medicine, doctors are now in the position to make treatment decisions not simply based on the specific cancer but on the genes that make up that cancer. By examining the DNA of a patient's tumor, they can identify the cancer-causing genes that make cancers grow. With that information they have the ability to find a drug that targets that gene, so they can turn the gene off and attack the cancer cell.
They can also identify ways to customize treatment, find ways to turn immune system on, personalize treatment with immune-activating drugs as well as engage in targeted therapies that allow them to pinpoint drugs that turn specific genes on or off.*