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Let’s get personal: Personalized medicine for cancer holds promising possibilities

Posted Feb 10 2011 11:16am
February 10, 2011 - Posted by tamilb
Here's to more doctors asking our genes personal questions!

Here's to more doctors asking our genes personal questions!

I was browsing through Twitter and was intrigued by Forbes article someone shared: A Dying Patient’s Plea for Personalized Medicine . It was a bit unsettling to read, not just because she’s dying; but also for its portrayal of how  the drug industry’s thirst for profits is blocking potentially life-saving treatments.

So I did a little research, and the first thing I saw was a promising article about an initiative taking place where I see my oncologist: Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. The University announced yesterday it was forming the Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine, funded by a $60 million endowment from the Lilly Foundation (yes, a drug manufacturer) and more than $11 million from the school of medicine. This represents a huge commitment to personalized medicine, which looks at genetic differences in patients to determine the right treatment.

For years, cancer patients have benefitted on some level from personalized medicine. For breast cancer, doctors can test tumors to determine if a hormone treatment or Herception (for HER2 nu status) will be effective. But most of the time, treatment is prescribed using a standard, one-size-fits-all protocol. People like me, whose hormone treatments have stopped working, find themselves back on the chemo wheel, hoping the next treatment will work.

There are several studies I’ve come across that identify possible genetic markers that could lead to exciting drugs targeting them. So I’m hopeful that  initiatives like this will help speed the process along.

But I know it takes more than treating the cancer to stay well. That’s why I am doing everything I can to create an inhospitable environment to pesky cancer cells. Part of that is my diet (organic, no sugar, white flour, limited dairy), supplements, green products, exercise, prayer and attitude. 

To learn more, I’m attending the Annie Appleseed CAM for Cancer conference March 3-5 in West Palm Beach, FL. The conference explores complimentary treatments to keep cancer at bay. I’ll be there both as a participant and exhibitor (with my book, From Incurable to Incredible). The deadline to register is Feb. 20. Go to  for more information.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 at 12:16 PM and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the feed. You can , or from your own site.
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