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Health

Personalized approach to treatment for women cancer

Dr. Parvin Tajik

Going for the best treatment, thanks to advances in data, genetic and molecular biology techniques

Conventional medical interventions for treatment of cancers include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

These interventions tend to impose high risks of side effects, while they are typically beneficial in only a small proportion of patients. With recent advances in genetic and molecular biology techniques, a huge number of novel and promising risk markers are identified. Now is the time to evaluate these novel makers and combine them with the conventional risk factors, for a better selection of treatment for patients. If we can develop and validate such multimarker treatment selection rules, only those patients who are likely to benefit will be exposed to the risks of treatment, while alternative interventions can be offered to those unlikely to benefit.

In collaboration with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) we have recently developed a multi-marker treatment selection rule for a better choice of treatment in ovarian cancer patients. Within my AXA project, I will work in partnership with EORTC, Institut Curie and Oxford University to validate and extend this decision rule with novel genetic and molecular markers (e.g. folate receptor alpha (FRA), BRCA1 and BRCA2, copy number alterations, and epigenetic changes). Development of this multi-marker treatment selection rule improves the choice of treatment for ovarian cancer patients and avoids exposing them to unnecessary treatment risks, eventually resulting in a better health outcome and quality of life in these patients.