An attempt to save the life of a fellow cancer researcher at Washington University has created a model of cancer therapy that may become a norm in the future, according to Gina Kolata of the New York Times.
Dr. Lukas Wartman was dying of acute lymphoblastic leukemia after trying rounds of conventional therapies such as chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. As a last shot, his fellow researchers analyzed the genetic content of his healthy cells and his cancerous cells to determine which genes had mutations in them causing the cancer. Rather than treating the cancer by its organ of origin, as has been the historic convention, they decided to treat it by its genetic defect of origin.
Dr. Timothy Ley, the head of the University’s genomic institute, said, “Until you know what is driving a patient’s cancer, you really don’t have any change of getting it right. For the past 40 years, we have sending generals into battle without a map of the battlefield. What we are doing now is building the map.”
Dr. Wartman was diagnosed with leukemia at age 25, and after periods of remission on conventional therapies suffered a relapse. This new technique of finding a treatment to attack the genetic defect has now put him into remission again. The drug he is being treated with was created, in fact, for kidney cancer, but attacks the same genetic defect that is found in his leukemia. Hopefully, it may offer him an extended lease of life.
The views, opinions and information expressed in articles and blog posts published on imperfectparent.com and all subdomains are those of the authors alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Imperfect Parent or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of any entity of, or affiliated with, Imperfect Parent. The Imperfect Parent
is designed for entertainment
purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for medical, health,
legal, or financial advice from a professional.
of material from any of Imperfect Parent's pages without written
permission is strictly prohibited.