Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Fortunately, advances in cancer treatment have made it possible for many people to beat the disease. However, not everyone responds well to treatment, and some patients suffer from adverse side effects. We will discuss ways to improve outcomes for cancer patients and make their treatment experience more positive.
Utilize In-House Next-Generation Sequencing
The genetic makeup of cancer tumors is not the same in every patient, which means that treatment plans must be tailored to each individual’s particular needs. This is where in-house next-generation sequencing comes in. Next-generation sequencing is a powerful technique that allows researchers to analyze numerous genes and proteins simultaneously and identify trends that would not be obvious if looking at each gene or protein individually.
Many of the essential cancer-causing mutations have been identified with next-generation sequencing, so applying this technique in the clinic will allow doctors better to tailor treatment plans to each patient’s cancer. While it is true that next-generation sequencing can be expensive, this investment should make future treatments more effective and individualized, ultimately leading to fewer cancer deaths.
Conduct Pre-Treatment Analysis on Tumor Samples
Another way to improve outcomes for cancer patients is to conduct pre-treatment analysis on tumor samples. This way, doctors will have a better idea of each patient’s best course of action. Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are currently developing an automated process that provides higher throughput and more accurate results than traditional molecular profiling methods. With this technology, clinicians will identify more mutations in tumor cells, which means more personalized treatment plans.
Population screening could help improve outcomes for cancer patients. Population-based studies have indicated that specific genetic mutations are associated with increased cancer risk in particular populations. For example, a mutation known as Lynch syndrome has been identified in Ashkenazi Jews, and those with Lynch syndrome have a significantly greater risk of developing colorectal cancer. There is no cure for the genetic mutations associated with increased cancer risk. Still, population-based screening can identify many people at risk before developing any symptoms. This allows them to take preventative measures such as increased screenings or lifestyle changes.
Go for Second Opinions
It can be challenging to make tough decisions about your health. That’s why consulting doctors and medical researchers is always a good idea, especially when dealing with cancer treatments. First of all, it will give you access to more knowledge than you would have on your own or even with your primary care physician. Second, it gives you more of a sense of control over your treatment. Cancer is horrifying, and it can be helpful to know that there are several highly trained professionals looking out for you every step of the way. Finally, consulting with doctors allows you to get more information on what other options are available to make the best choice for yourself.
There are many ways to improve cancer treatment outcomes by identifying mutations in a tumor cell more accurately. These include using in-house next-generation sequencing, conducting pre-treatment analyses on tumor samples, and population screening. Together, these approaches can help doctors treat individual cancer patients more effectively and lower the number of cancer deaths every year.