Personalized Medicine for Cancer in the Developing World

Smith, Rebecca E.; Pascale, Juan Miguel
April 2012
Current Trends in Biotechnology & Pharmacy;Apr2012, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p119
Academic Journal
Personalized Medicine evolved from the genomics era and allows disease prediction based on genetic mutation, and development of individualized health care, both preventive and responsive, as a consequence of a patient's own genetic features. Personalized medicine for cancer is similarly proactive and individualized, based on genetic information and used to manage cancer risk and disease for solid and lymphoproliferative cancers, those with a hereditary basis and those arising spontaneously. In the developing world, cancers now kill more people than infectious disease and while many resource-limited countries still lack basic facilities to care for cancer patients, middleincome countries, such as Panama, are beginning to make simple applications of personalized medicine for cancer diagnosis and treatment. These applications focus on cancers which affect the greatest number of people and those for which proven tests and therapies already exist. Three such cancers are lung, breast and colorectal cancers, which have similarities in the biochemical dysfunctions at their foundations. A limited and affordable portfolio of genetic tests could be established by developing world diagnostic laboratories to aid oncologists in risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis and pharmaceutical choice in the personalized management of cancer. The establishment and clinical use of these tests in developing world nations will require innovative models of financing and strengthening of human resources and technical and legislative infrastructure.


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