Cancer, whether in the pancreas or in the liver, can take on
different characteristics and spread in different ways. That's why, there's no
one-size-fits-all drug to help patients fight back.
But a new test can personalize treatment and help
oncologists choose which chemotherapy route to take. The test, called Dynamic
BH3 Profiling, quickly predicts whether or not a drug will work for a patient
by first trying that drug on a tumor sample in the lab.
A paper describing the method, which researchers say could
become more widespread within a couple of years, was published in the journal
Cell this week.
Study author Dr. Anthony Letai, a cancer researcher
with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said, "When we're trying to choose
antibiotics for people. We simply isolate the bacteria that's causing the
problem and expose it to all the drugs that are available," he says. "Then we
choose the drugs that best put a lid on the multiplying bacteria. That has
operated for many, many decades. so we thought, why not do that for cancer
cells?" says Letai.