Personalized medicine is pharmaceuticals or biological treatments paired with diagnostic tests (companion tests) that personalized the medicine in question with genetics or genetic signatures. Target-specific cancer therapeutics has remarkably improved the outcomes of patients and represents the frontline approach to treatments in oncology today. The molecular basis governing the deveLopment of colorectal cancer is well established. K-ras is one of the early key components in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC) and is involved in many signal transduction pathways of the epidermal growth factor receptor--EGFR. Both cetuximab and panitumumab, EGFR monoclonal antibodies, are approved for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Patients with mutations in oncogene K-ras are not considered candidates for those treatments. Therefore, identifying patients with K-ras mutations is critical prior to treatment selection. In Israel, cetuximab is approved as third line therapy in CRC patients and K-ras testing is required before choosing therapy. The study by Segal et at, pubLished in this issue, assessed the prevalence of molecular types of K-ras mutations in stage IV CRC patients who failed two lines of treatment. Those results revealed a pattern similar to that seen in other studies. This editorial discusses the results of this study in the context of personalized medicine and presents the need for promoting the understanding and use of personalized medicine within the Israeli healthcare system. Use of personalized medicine Leads to better health outcomes and may result in saving healthcare costs.
|Pages (from-to)||451-452, 490|
|State||Published - May 2011|