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Medical News and Perspectives
October 25, 2006

Targeted Cancer Therapies Lagging

JAMA. 2006;296(16):1951-1952. doi:10.1001/jama.296.16.1951

Chicago—Scientists have long known that unlocking the mysteries of the human genome would lead to better diagnostics and therapies for a variety of diseases, but they were quick to note that the completion of its sequencing 3 years ago was just the first step toward tailoring medical care to individuals. Now, though, experts are concerned that progress is lagging and that current research strategies and designs are not up to tackling the challenges ahead.

“Patients have said that we’ve heard about personalized molecular medicine for the last 5 to 10 years,” said Gordon Mills, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston. “We're going to need to move forward more quickly.” At the American Association for Cancer Research's recent conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, Mills and others in academia, industry, and government discussed hurdles that stand in the way of adoption of this approach to care for patients with cancer.

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