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Chemo sensitivity testing

There is now growing interest in personalized cancer treatment and the identification of suitable treatments that may work better for the individual with cancer. Chemo sensitivity testing is, in my opinion, extremely important. Cancer doctors primarily rely on statistical analysis of large treatment trials to decide which drugs to use for specific cancers. Chemo sensitivity testing involves testing an individual’s cancer cells in the laboratory to see which drug and which natural substances demonstrate the best response.

Chemo sensitivity testing provides the best information and guidance about the treatment and in particular what treatment may be best suited to the individual in clinical practice.

The lab I use identifies tumor cells and isolates them from the samples for the following analysis:

  • Viability testing of chemotherapy drugs.
  • Genetic profiling for guidance about target therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies.
  • Viability testing and identification of mechanisms of action, of natural substances which may be used as part of the complimentary treatment strategy.

Who are these tests for?

These tests are for people who currently have a diagnosis of cancer and want to have more information of the treatment options about what chemotherapy and what natural products work. They also are people who want to actively engage in reducing their risk of developing cancer in the future and for patients who actually want to see if they even have cancer in first place. People with increased risks of cancer that could have family history or lifestyle environmental issues need this test as part of early screening for early detection and diagnosis.

New lab test

I use a specialized lab composed of the most advanced and innovative technology that focuses on molecular oncology. They offer several different tests that are used for:

  • The early detection and diagnosis of new cancers.
  • Monitoring of existing cancers.
  • Prognosis about the risk of recurrence of previous cancers.
  • The best of alternative and traditional therapy.

Unlike other tests, the genetic cancer testing we use is a very sensitive test that allows isolation and counting of circulating tumor cells in the blood sample. These are cancer cells that have broken away from the primary tumor and have entered the bloodstream.

The lab also evaluates genetic markers, 72 related genes, on the tumor cell to predict outcomes of treatment and prognosis. In addition, it can provide the following information:

  • Identification of several specific types of cancer. Approximately 95% of the time when markers are positive, they can identify melanoma and sarcoma cancers, and the site of origin for kidney and prostate cancers.
  • Chemo sensitivity testing, identification of chemotherapy drugs that demonstrate the most effective kill rate to a person’s individual cancer cells.
  • Identification of chemo resistance that is identification of chemotherapy drugs that will not be as effective for treatment.
  • Assessment of natural substances and plant extracts for potency against the cancers isolated circulating tumor cells.
  • Identification of immune factors and metastatic risk.
  • Test for all cancers with circulating tumor cells and cancer stem cells.
  • Data on how an individual will react to a specific chemotherapy agent. An individual's genetic makeup determines whether they are accumulators or rapidly metabolized as certain drugs. This can play a critical role in determining how effective a specific drug treatment is likely to be, and how significant the side- effects will be.
  • Tests for 72 tumor related genes and 4 resistant factors that can be used by physicians to determine the nature and aggressiveness to cancer.
  • Identification of specific markers of the tumor cells to assist the physician in forming a targeted approach.

I routinely perform this particular testing to detect early cancer before the lump and bump stage, and to evaluate the patient with known cancer. The problem is most conventional US oncologists are not familiar with this test, although it is widely used throughout the world. I have used other testing to evaluate cancer in my patients but I truly feel that this is the best test to use.

Chemo sensitivity testing and circulating cancer stem cell analysis has been used by Memorial Sloane Cancer Center, as well as MD Anderson Hospitals around the country. The way cancer has been treated for the past several decades have been the standard of care but it is rapidly changing.

No two cancers are alike even within an individual patient. Tumors may change over time. We are moving away from the concept that all cancers are the same. There is a new consensus that to truly fight cancer doctors need to understand it from the inside out, which means decoding its DNA and evaluate the biomarkers.

Until recently this highly sophisticated approach to cancer was virtually nonexistent. But fast moving developments in genetics and molecular biology are quickly changing that. The problem is that this testing isn't standard of care yet, but everyone does agree that it will be at some point.

In January 2015, the federal government launched a 250 million Precision Medicine Initiative to help build a data base that stores information and to support research at the National Cancer Institute. That funding alone, however, isn't nearly enough to usher in a new era of custom cancer care. What we need to do is have full data from all physicians which is the goal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. ASCO recently announced it is creating a registry of patients who take drugs that are approved for a cancer other than the one for which they were cleared for by the FDA. We need to gather this information.

The problem is currently, less than 5% of the 1.6 million people diagnosed with cancer each year in Europe and the United States can take advantage of genetic testing. At most hospitals in this country this kind of testing is limited. If it is done there is always an out of pocket expense to the patient.

I have been doing genomic cancer therapy evaluations of circulating cancer stem cells and chemo sensitivity on my patients since 2007. In 2007 was the year my father had a bladder cancer and I performed the test on him. I used the chemo that was indicated and he lived for another ten years and died from Alzheimer's. I am sure that genomic medicine is here to stay and after reading this article, I am sure you will be convinced that this is the way to win the war on cancer. If you are interested in genomic cancer therapies with personalized cancer testing.

Combination therapy
works best

he evaluation of new molecular testing for cancer is critical. Synergy accomplished through low-dose targeted chemotherapy, natural synergistic substances, and immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors, autologous whole tumor vaccine, dendritic cell vaccine, and supportive oligonucleotide (SOT).

If you would like more information on personalized genetic low-dose chemotherapy, please call us at 480-860-2030.

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