The recent ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology Conference came out with a lot of good news! So rather than repeat the problems that the NHS is having,with our cancer treatment, I thought those of you with scientific mnds might like to read this good news direct from Johns Hopkins – one of the most respected cancer research and hospital institutions in the world.

Basically, this reserch follows on from papers aired at the ASCO Conference;  there was so much positivity this year, which augurs well for the future, especially in avoiding many of the long-term side effects that would manifest themselves because of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that prevailed with our treatment until now.

At ASCO the buzz was about tailored medicine – it’s getting nearer and neared – hurrah!

The following is scientific – but those of you who know your stuff will find it a good read:

The study examined cetuximab treatment effects on cancer cells from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma over 11 weeks. During that time, they used the same pool of cells to see what happened during the time period, attempting to avoid any outside variables from using different batches of cells.

HopkinsKimmel scientists examine how cancers acquire resistance to treatment over time, whether those changes could be modeled computationally. 

cogaps chart.JPG
In vitro time course reflects clinical evolution of cetuximab response and evolution of acquired resistance.
Credit: Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

New methods of studying the evolution of treatment resistance in head and neck cancer are being developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

The scientists wanted to examine how cancers acquire resistance to treatment over time and whether those changes could be modeled computationally to determine patient-specific timelines of resistance.

The research was published by Genome Medicine on May 23, 2018.

The Coordinate Gene Activity in Pattern Sets algorithm (CoGAPS) was used to determine the molecular changes associated with resistance during the course of the development of the resistance. It required developing new methods of collecting data from in vitro cell models and developing a computational analysis approach to measure these observations that has not previously been done for cancer.

“The biggest novelty in this paper is considering time as a variable. We have to prove that it matters before putting that burden on patients,” said senior author Elana Fertig, Ph.D. “But we think it will result in better treatment.”

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