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    « GeneKey addresses challenges in genomic tests for cancer | Main | Enlisting the Dying for Clues to Save Others »
    Tuesday
    Jan112011

    GeneKey at forefront of personal tumor profiling companies

    A news article in Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) mentions GeneKey as a pioneer in providing genomic profiles to individual cancer patients. Genomic tests offered by other companies target perhaps a few dozen known cancer biomarkers, and associate the results with known cancer drugs. In contrast, GeneKey profiles the entire tumor genome through mRNA expression analysis of some 25,000 genes, and detects abnormal gene copy numbers. It also offers sequencing of all protein-expressing parts of the genome. Probing the tumor genome at this level of detail makes it possible for GeneKey's scientists to test and develop hypotheses about the biological mechanisms driving an individual patient's disease and, more importantly, to identify any available drugs - not just known cancer drugs - that could reverse the disease process. GeneKey's analysis can potentially point to a broader array of treatment options, including ones that would not otherwise be considered by the patient's doctor.

    While the JNCI article cautions that clinical trials have yet to prove that genomic profiling can improve outcomes, it quotes leading M.D. Anderson researcher Gordon Mills as saying that he "considers testing potentially justified when a doctor runs out of standard therapies and must turn to off-label use of approved drugs. 'What if I’ve got nothing to do, I’ve got nothing to offer, and there's an approved drug out there?' said Mills. 'Is it wrong to test [the tumor]? I wouldn’t say that. I would say that it should optimally be done within a clinical trial.'"

    Reference
    Ready or Not: Personal Tumor Profiling Tests Take Off JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst first published online December 29, 2010

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