Gene research offers new hope for targeted breast cancer treatment

November 19, 2015

Dr Swanton, added: "Now the challenge is to apply these methods to other drugs in cancer medicine and to help identify new drugs within clinical trials that might benefit patients who are predicted to be unresponsive to treatment. These could include treatments that are currently deemed too expensive to fund on the NHS - however, in the future, treating only the patients that will benefit from certain treatments will save the NHS money in the long term. By identifying which patients do not respond well to certain treatments, doctors are able to consider alternative therapies, within clinical trials, aimed at treating individual patients more effectively."

Dr Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK's director of cancer information, said: "This important research shows the impact that discoveries in the lab can have in the development of better ways to treat patients".

"New techniques such as these can enable drugs to be tailored to individual patients, and this could potentially improve cancer survival in the long term. Health professionals may in the future be able to use this information to direct treatment to patients most likely to benefit and avoid giving treatment that is less likely to be effective to patients with drug resistant cancers.

"Ultimately similar approaches could reduce the cost of delivering cancer care whilst enabling improved patient access to beneficial treatments."

Source: Cancer Research UK