PITTSBURGH, Feb. 3 An era of personalized medicine is redefining how patients and doctors work together to fight cancer. Now, drug response markers such as the ChemoFx® diagnostic test show promising results which can help to determine individual cancer treatment plans when using various chemotherapeutic agents.
ChemoFx® is a test produced by Precision Therapeutics, Inc., a life sciences company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With the introduction of this innovative drug response marker, the company has pioneered a method of identifying cancer cell response and sensitivity to various chemotherapeutic and biologic agents at the biopsy stage -- long before a patient actually begins chemotherapy -- providing a custom blueprint of a patient's probable tumor response.
The result is valuable insight into which chemotherapy drugs are most likely to work in an individual cancer patient's own body -- along with those that are unlikely to be effective in shrinking and killing the cancerous tumor. This information can then be used to help guide chemotherapy treatment decisions, according to company officials.
"Patients and their physicians will have an understanding of how chemo will impact the cancer cells themselves long before it impacts the patient," says Sean McDonald, CEO of Precision Therapeutics. "By testing multiple agents on a patient's cancer cells in the lab, ChemoFx® determines the chemotherapies that are more likely to be effective and avoid those that are likely to be ineffective, giving patients a powerful advantage in their fight against cancer."
The diagnostic test works by taking a sample of a patient's tumor, which is removed during biopsy or surgery, and sending that sample to the Precision Therapeutics laboratory for sensitivity and resistance testing. In a controlled environment that closely parallels what happens within the human body itself, those cells are incubated and treated by a fully automated system with a number of chemotherapy and biologic agents selected by that patient's physician. Precision Therapeutics then sends the physician a report that details how the cancerous cells responded to each drug or chemotherapy combination. Integrating the results with clinical judgment, the physician can then use the report to support his decision on a treatment regimen for the patient, with the tandem objective of eradicating the disease and optimizing quality of life during chemotherapy treatment.
With the national movement toward cancer patient advocacy gaining momentum, those newly diagnosed are now engaging with their treating physician as both patient -- and partner -- in making cancer treatment decisions.
"Today's cancer patients are informed, empowered self advocates," according to McDonald. "They want a voice in their own treatment options. A key discussion points is the topic of personalizing medicine through testing services such as ChemoFx. Each and every patient's cancer is unique, making the need for individual, custom drug response markers all the more critical to support a patient's treatment plan. They want their first step to be the right step."
"When you're diagnosed with cancer, your strongest ally is information," says McDonald. "That means talking with your doctor to plan your best course of action together. We encourage you to test the tumor first, find out how it responds, and based on those findings and your physicians clinical judgment, determine the optimal treatment plan for your individual cancer."
About Precision Therapeutics
Precision Therapeutics, a life science company and leader in the development of innovative technology, delivers personalized diagnostics to physicians with the goal of supporting and optimizing difficult treatment decisions.
For more information, please visit www.precisiontherapeutics.com or www.ChemoFX.com
SOURCE Precision Therapeutics, Inc.