Today’s standard therapies for cancer exist because people have participated in clinical trials – yet choosing to participate in a cancer clinical trial is an important personal decision that can be intimidating for many patients. In order to better help patients understand cancer clinical trials, the reasons to participate in them, and clinical research at Mount Sinai, The Tisch Cancer Institute has released a new video, “Clinical Trials at Mount Sinai: Moving the Field Forward.”
Personalized Medicine is a rapidly evolving approach to patient care that incorporates an individual’s genetic information into a customized prevention or treatment plan. Mapping a person’s total genetic makeup or whole genome sequencing has created mountains of data about variations in our human genetic code. As this experience has grown, some of these variations have been linked to risks for certain diseases, or in some cases the likelihood that a person will respond to a particular treatment. Individuals may now submit a DNA sample and obtain their genetic sequence with accompanying risk association analysis for a few hundred dollars. Can this technology however be harnessed to drive better outcomes for patients diagnosed with cancer? Many clinicians and scientists argue that we are not there yet.