Personalised Medicine Explained for Patients

How will a personalised approach in medical oncology affect cancer patients?

Personalised medicine is the future of cancer medicine. To make it a reality in the near future and to offer cancer patients improved treatments for their diseases, the patient’s active role is crucial.
ESMO is committed to educate patients in this evolving approach to cancer. The video interviews published on this page are designed to help patients better understand the principles of personalised medicine and how they can contribute to this great advancement in the field of oncology, for their own benefit and for the benefit of cancer patients in the future. Well-informed patients and educated choices matter…

Personalised cancer medicine: what patients should know

ESMO is committed to educate cancer patients and their families on the basic principles of personalised medicine to make them knowledgeable about what is needed to get the best possible treatment for their disease. Participation in clinical trials is crucial, as is allowing biopsies of one's tumour or provide other biological material, elements which could make a difference...

How personalised medicine will affect lung cancer patients 

Lung cancer presents very different histological types and in some of these subtypes there are specific molecular targets identified. Some specific gene alterations are mutually exclusive and it is important to understand which one is the major genetic driver. If the identified one is druggable, then we can hope for a specific therapeutic effect. Patients should be aware of this very distinction and search for optimal diagnosis which may require obtaining adequate bioptic material. http://www.esmo.org

How personalised medicine will affect colorectal cancer patients

J. Tabernero explains the need to differentiate individual characteristics of each tumour based on its biology as well as on the specific clinical situation. To understand the evolution of the disease, obtaining bio specimen is crucial as well as designing new clinical trials based on disease changes over time will help to develop more successful treatments.

How personalised medicine will affect breast cancer patients

M.Piccart warns that since treatment still relies on the evaluation of critical targets in the tumour (e.g. hormone receptors, HER2 overexpression), and the tests to identify them are very delicate, it is mandatory that they are assessed in labs which meet very strict quality criteria. Science is moving rapidly: patients are invited to search for clinical trial opportunities where their tumour can be profiled in a deeper way which will lead them to access smart targeted drugs.

 How personalised medicine will affect sarcoma patients

Jean-Yves Blay highlights three essential measures sarcoma patients should take: ensure their tumour is managed by a reference centre within a specialised network; make sure their tumour is properly diagnosed, again within recognised reference centres; participate in clinical research. It is well known that patients enrolled in clinical trials are usually doing better because carefully followed...ESMO Personalised Medicine explained for patients series: www.esmo.org