Molecular profiling: Personalizing your cancer treatmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/molecular-profiling/MY02505
- With Mayo Clinic nurse educator
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.read biographyclose window
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.Sheryl M. Ness
Sheryl Ness, R.N., O.C.N., is a nurse educator for the Cancer Education Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She helps inform patients, families and caregivers about services and resources to help them through the cancer journey.
She has a master's degree in nursing from Augsburg College. In addition, she is an assistant professor of oncology at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and is certified as a specialist in oncology nursing. Sheryl has worked for more than 20 years at Mayo Clinic as an educator. She has a keen interest in the importance of the quality of life and concerns of people living with cancer.
- New therapies sought for triple negative breast cancer
Dec. 3, 2013
- How to care for skin during and after radiation
Nov. 9, 2013
- The problem with overtreating thyroid cancers
Nov. 2, 2013
- Hope, resources and support for those living with cancer
Oct. 26, 2013
- Reading helps you forget about your worries and relax
Oct. 19, 2013
Living with cancer blog
July 3, 2013
Molecular profiling: Personalizing your cancer treatment
By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
We all have individual differences — our hair color, eye color, personality and physical traits — that are a result of our genes. It's no surprise to discover that the genetic makeup of each cancer is also different.
Over the years, cancer researchers and specialists have discovered that not all cancers are alike. Individualizing cancer treatment, with a look to the molecular or genetic level, can help your cancer doctor tailor the best treatment for you.
Molecular profiling is a method of testing that looks at each person's cancer tumor and studies the genetic characteristics as well as any unique biomarkers. The information gathered is used to identify and create targeted therapies that are designed to work better for a specific cancer tumor profile.
At Mayo Clinic, researchers have created a new program called the Center for Individualized Medicine.
Researchers are studying the entire spectrum of diseases as well as various cancer types to better understand how molecular and genetic differences can be more or less likely to respond to specific treatment. Based on the information, treatment can be recommended that targets specific biomarkers or genes.
Targeted therapies can be more effective, with fewer side effects and a better chance of curing the cancer and/or controlling the tumor growth. As researchers learn more about genetic and molecular differences of cancer, additional targeted therapies will be developed.
To learn more about molecular profiling and if this is an option for you — you may want to consider asking your cancer doctor a few of these questions:
- With my cancer type, what are the benefits of molecular profiling?
- Is my tumor eligible for molecular profiling?
- Will molecular profiling better determine my treatment options?
- When should my tumor be examined?
- What is the cost of molecular profiling? Will my insurance cover it?
- What if I've already had treatment — can I still have molecular profiling?
- Are there any risks?
Learn more about molecular profiling including great videos explaining the topic from Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine (www.mayoresearch.mayo.edu/center-for-individualized-medicine/).
I'd love to hear from people who have had molecular profiling for your cancer type — what was your experience?blog index