Personalized Treatment For Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

September 5, 2012
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Colorectal Cancer

Colon and rectum comprise a large intestine. The presence of cancerous cells in either colon or rectum is termed as colorectal cancer or colon cancer.

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Colon and rectum comprise a large intestine. The presence of cancerous cells in either colon or rectum is termed as colorectal cancer or colon cancer.

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

When the tumor extends beyond the colon to the nearby organs, then it is termed as metastatic colorectal cancer. In most cases, the cancer advances to the liver, lungs and bones. It is the most dangerous phase of cancer and treatments become less effective for the patient’s, whose cancer has metastasized.

Colorectal cancer is responsible for taking almost 50,000 lives each year in USA, but with better understanding of this disease and advanced treatment methods the survival rates have improved.

Personalized Treatment

Mostly patients of colon cancer recieve traditional treatments (surgery, chemo, radiation) regardless of the particular characterics of the tumor and patient’s condition. The purpose of a personalized treatment is to choose the most effective treatment for a particular patient to achieve ultimate effectiveness with slightest side effects. It has been realized by the professionals that the characteristics of colorectal cancer are not same in any two patients. Therefore personalized treatment means that treating the patient according to the molecular characteristics of tumor in a particular patient. Standard procedures like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment might not be effective for a particular case of metastatic colorectal cancer. However, targeted therapies along with conventional therapies have proved to be more effective and this combination is emerging as best cancer treatment. Through personalized treatment, one can avoid the unnecessary side effects of the useless treatment methods.

Personalized Medicine: Through biomakers (molecular characteristics of cancer), doctors decide, which medicines would be more effective for a particular patient of metastatic colon cancer. In almost 40-50% cases of metastatic colon cancer changes in KRAS gene are present. With presence of KRAS gene mutation, chemotherapy drugs (cetuximab (Erbitux) and panitumumab (Vectibix)) are ineffective. Every meatastatic colon cancer patient must be tested for KRAS gene mutations.

Personalized Targeted Therapies: These therapies have a great future in treating advace stage colon cancer patients. These therapies are designed to destroy particular cancerous cells in a patient. It may involve different combinations of chemotherapy drugs for different stages of colorectal cancer.

A personalised care plan offers bright chances of sucessful outcomes.In last 10 years advacements have been made in altering treatments based on moleculer markers. It is conceived  that approved clinical biomarkers will evolve as a new standard of treatment in future and will accurately predict the response to specific therapies. Endeavors are required to recognize predictive markers for better and accurate therapeutic decisions.