A personal touch - the value of guided treatment in cancer care

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In the traditional medical model, patients diagnosed with cancer in a particular organ receive the same medication, most often chemotherapy, administered in an average dose. However, many patients don't respond to this standard approach and when the treatment fails, the physician must return to the drawing board. Personalised medicine aims to minimise this catch-all approach by providing each patient with a specific treatment based on the molecular and genetic characteristics of that patient's tumour. The approach is gaining momentum and now research presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology [ASCO; Orlando, Florida, US; May/June 2009] has demonstrated the economic benefits that personalised medicine in cancer care may provide.

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