Unprecedented Moon Shots Program Launched By Ut MD Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announces the launch of the Moon Shots Program, an unprecedented effort to dramatically accelerate the pace of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances that reduce cancer deaths.
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Since: Dec 05
#1 Sep 25, 2012
Moon Shots Program - Giant Leap for Mankind?
Great technology, but information of extremely limited value. People will think because they are being completely genotyped, this will give all the answers needed. But it won't. Genotyping will only be of value for drugs for which a gene mutation is informative -- basically KRAS and EGFR mutations -- and we already have tests for those and they are of very limited value. Otherwise, it's a ton of information for which the drug selection value is pretty darn useless.
What's more important than what genes are in the DNA is what genes are actively making RNA, which RNA is actively making protein, which protein is being turned off or turned on, and how all of the proteins in the cell are interacting with each other. The only way to get the latter information, which is ultimately what you want, is to treat the patient with phenotype analysis. In drug selection, phenotype analysis doesn't dismiss DNA testing, it uses all the information, measuring the interaction of the entire genome, to design the best treatment for each individual.
I believe this and other recent announcements have been overreached and giving us overexpectations. The research is exciting, but the path remains long and arduous. Dr. Len Lichtenfeld of the American Cancer Society wrote: "It is important to recall that despite the fact this is incredibly sophisticated and difficult work, it is still reasonably early in our ability to perform the analyses, interpret the data, and determine the best way to apply it to the clinic."
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