One size doesn’t fit all!
Colorectal cancer isn’t one disease. A treatment that works for one person may not help someone else at all. Some people respond very well to a drug, others don’t. Some people have significant side effects, others will have no problems at all. Some people at the same age, same cancer stage, same overall health will have their cancer return, others won’t.
People differ, tumors differ. And we don’t always know why. But, as we have both more treatments for colorectal cancer and significantly improved technical methods for understanding both genetic differences in individuals and genomic patterns in cancers, we have more tools for personalizing treatments to meet individual needs. We’re learning more of the “why.”
- We know some cancers are inherited and know which genes are mutated for some types of inherited colorectal cancers.
- We can pinpoint some changes in genes or proteins expressed in tumors and look at individual patterns of change.
- We can connect changes in some gene patterns with recurrences, side effects, response to treatment, and survival.
In April 2011, Fight Colorectal Cancer held a webinar with a member of our Medical Advisory Board, Carolyn Grande, about this subject. Her presentation was clear and easy to understand. Watch it and let us know what you think.