A new study suggests that personalized cancer therapies might bring cancer treatments to new heights with the use of a knowledge bank. Researchers gathered data of the genetic script, treatment methods and its results in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. It will be used to choose the best treatment available for a specific patient.
Personalized medicine or therapies are those tailored to an individual patient based on their predicted reaction to treatment. Genetic information has a large role in the concept of personalized treatment. It uses diagnostic testing and the doctor chooses treatment based on the context of a patient's genetic content or other molecular or cellular analysis.
In a study published in Nature Genetics, the researchers created a knowledge bank based on the data from 1,540 leukemia patients who previously participated in clinical trials in Austria and Germany. They gathered the information which include the genetic features, treatment and outcome of the patients. They then developed a tool on how these data can be used to provide doctors with the best treatment options for new patients.
"The knowledge bank approach makes far more detailed and accurate predictions about the likely future course of a patient with AML than what we can make in the clinic at the moment," Senior author Dr Peter Campbell said according to Science Daily. The said tool needs further testing but it is available scientists who are conducting a research.
Lead author Dr Moritz Gerstung said that they only tested the concept of the knowledge bank for leukemia but it can also be used for all types of cancer. He added that cancer has long been known as a complex genetic disease. The study highlights that a wide and detailed knowledge on the genetic properties and clinical information for a type of cancer would be a great help in finding the most suitable treatment for individual patients.
The researchers added that their study gives the first real evidence on the practical use of genetic testing and integrating it to cancer treatments. With the advancement in technology, the knowledge bank also need to be constantly updated for newly approved therapies.