What is “genomics”?
Cancer develops when genetic material (DNA) becomes damaged or changed. We know some cancer- causing genetic changes are acquired (i.e. smoking), while others are inherited. Studying cancer genomics explores the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. Advances in understanding how cancer behaves at the genomic and molecular level are helping oncologists treat cancer with greater success. This is the key to precision medicine, treating each individual’s cancer as unique.
Guiding Cancer Therapy Using Molecular Imaging
Molecular-genetic imaging (also known as molecular imaging) combines conventional anatomic imaging (MRI, CT, PET or ultrasound) with genomic testing and enables doctors to literally see cancer at its molecular or genetic level. Because of this, molecular imaging has the potential to characterize the genotype and phenotype of cancer as well as predict response rates and likely outcomes to selected treatments… all without the need for tissue samples that would be obtained through surgery or biopsy.
Molecular imaging is emerging as yet another tool doctors can use to help choose the most effective treatment(s) for individual patients. With molecular imaging, doctors can provide more personalized, effective treatments to their patients.
While traditional methods treat cancer based on the body part where the cancer first originated, genomic testing looks at cancer on the gene level. Genomic testing reveals the unique genomic drivers or the driver genes for each patient’s cancer.
When combined with the molecular imaging technology, deeper and more detailed information that is specific to an individual cancer patient could be obtained and analyzed by the oncologists, which empowers them to design optimal, individualized therapies to maximize treatment success.
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