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The Rational Alternative to Genomics

The Rational Alternative to Genomics

Recently, medical research has focused a great deal on developing DNA (genomic) tests to identify gene expressions, amplifications and mutations relevant to cancer. The hope is that genetic information will enable researchers to better predict how you will respond to various treatment options.

However, when it comes to predicting the best treatment, unlocking the complexities of your DNA is simply not the answer. In fact, a March 2010 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute looked at the value of a number of gene tests and concluded none of the studies showed “clear usefulness.”

While genomic analysis can provide a veneer of information, unraveling the complexity of human tumor biology is beyond the scope of these analyses today. Gene tests cannot capture the myriad of factors that ultimately determine how tumor cells will behave inside the body. Simply put, you are much more complex than the sum of your genes.

For example — a flower seed may have the genetic instructions to become a rose. But, its genes will not necessarily determine its size, number of blooms, etc. These features are heavily influenced by non-genetic and environmental factors, such as the soil, nutrients, water, sun exposure, pathogens and the climate in which the seed is nurtured. No good gardener would attempt to tell you how your future bouquet will look by simply examining a packet of flower seeds. Similarly, no good doctor should attempt to choose drugs based solely on genomic analyses. Most physicians realize that genotype does not equal phenotype.

By testing your tumor in its native state, “functional profiling” performed at Rational Therapeutics takes not just your genomic make-up into consideration, but your cells’ entire biology. Treatment based on genetic testing is still a guessing game. Only by selecting drugs and combinations through the functional profiling of your tumor sample can we predict your response to treatment. The EVA-PCD platform at Rational Therapeutics provides truly personalized cancer care.

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