Ever more sophisticated tools for probing cancer's molecular roots and genes that affect response to therapies show promise for enhancing the understanding and treatment of malignancies. As presentations at recent scientific meetings indicate, researchers using such tools are gleaning insights that may help physicians more effectively determine which therapies are most likely to help and least likely to harm their patients with cancer.
Some researchers are attempting to determine whether tumors have patterns of gene expression that will accurately predict the prognoses for patients with cancer. Such "molecular signatures" could help clinicians determine which patients might benefit from more aggressive therapy while sparing others unnecessary treatment.
Stephenson J. Gene Studies Provide Window on Cancer Prognosis, Treatment Benefits, Toxic Effects. JAMA. 2002;288(7):820-821. doi:10.1001/jama.288.7.820-JMN0821-2-1