Emerging Diagnostics for Cancer Therapy
Cancer is the fastest-spreading disease that needs early detection to save lives.
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The cancerous cells are very stubborn and in some cases tend to come back after treatment.
Thus, following and continuing the process of treatment is essential.
- As per the Union of International Cancer Control, the study of 2020 reveals that worldwide the number of rising cases of cancer is 19.3 million and the rising number of deaths is 10 million.
With advancements in medical science and in diagnostic tailoring therapy for cancer is becoming a reality.
Cancer is a disease that continues to grow spread and relapse even after using various modalities of cancer treatment. This include surgery radiation and conventional chemotherapy.
Hence, there is a growing need for molecular testing of tumors as this type of testing can predict responses to specific targets in treatment therapy which is now available for various cancers.
The new targeted drugs can improve the chances of survivors delaying the progression of tumors and can be used in the recurrence of cancer.
What is Molecular testing for Cancer?
This is a laboratory test in which a sample is taken from the skin, body fluid, or blood to test the genes deformities.
Any type of deformity is then studied to identify the reason and treatment of the disease.
Molecular testing and its affordability
So what exactly is molecular testing in Cancer to answer that we must first understand that the transformation of normal human cells to cancer cells is a multi-step process. It caused by the alteration of genes.
These altered mutated genes are responsible for causing cancer to become the main targets for targeted therapies.
Molecular testing is the assignment of these genetic mutations in the gene products DNA, RNA, or protein in the tumor cells.
Initially, molecular tests were quite expensive but because of the newer advancement in technology and diagnostic equipment, these are now becoming more affordable and accessible today.
The sample required for molecular testing is typically tumor tissue obtained through biopsy or surgery. In some cases, tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream can also be used.
What is targeted therapy for Cancer?
In this therapy specific cells or genes are targeted for treatment. Basically, it is used in treating the growth of cancerous cells. The drug given stops the cell’s growth. In addition, it helps in stopping the survival and growth of cancer cells.
The historical standard chemotherapy has a broader spectrum of action lacking specifically. It affects all growing cells in the body leading to more systematic toxicity.
While targeted therapy constitutes those drugs that act specifically on tumor cells with specific genetic alterations while sparing the normal tissues does cause lessor side effects giving better response and improving quality of life.
It is often used in addition to other treatments like surgery, radiation therapy chemotherapy hormone therapy, or immunotherapy.
Indications for molecular testing
There are several scenarios where molecular testing is recommended. Firstly germline mutation testing is conducted to identify hereditary cancer syndrome.
By testing genetic effects that run in families healthcare professionals can detect the risk of cancer in family members.
Secondly, molecular testing is crucial for advanced or metastatic cancers that progress despite standard chemotherapy.
However, target therapy is now approved as a first-line treatment for certain cancer. Lastly, this kind of testing plays a vital role in post-treatment, monitoring, predicting patient survival, and managing cases of relapse.
Opting for the right test
When it comes to choosing between single-gene or multi-gene panel molecular testing the scope of genetic tests can vary.
Single gene or target genes testing is preferred when a specific non-mutation in a particular gene associated with specific cancer needs to be diagnosed or targeted for therapy.
On the other hand, multi gym panel testing or Holden sequencing is a broader gene panel testing where we hope to come across at least some actionable genetic mutation where some drug can be offered.
It is done where the test results of limited single gene testing are inconclusive and in advanced cases where cancer has progressed on all treatment options available.
In conclusion, it is very important to check for cancer. It saves many lives primarily through early detection. Opting for the right test thus helps to prevent deaths caused due to this ailment.