Personalized medicine is the future of healthcare

August 24, 2011

If you were diagnosed with cancer or another disease, wouldn’t you want your treatment and medicines to be as unique as you are?

This is a growing trend in medicine where the type of treatment a patient gets depends on their DNA.

A few weeks ago, Dr. Hank Kaplan of the Swedish Cancer Institute spoke with KING5 about the I-SPY clinical trial.

The usual treatment for breast cancer may be surgery, followed by chemotherapy, possibly radiation and as a last resort, a clinical trial.

The I-SPY clinical trial turns that thinking upside down by actually extracting DNA from a tumor to figure out which new drug will likely work best, then giving it to the patient first, even before surgery.

"The goal of the I-SPY trial is really to develop a faster and cheaper way to develop new drugs for breast cancer . We're hoping that this is a new paradigm that will work for other kinds of cancer too," said Dr. Kaplan.

To learn more about the I-SPY clinical trial at Swedish, call our clinical research line at 206-215-3086. To learn more about cancer, you can download podcasts or click here to learn more.

Topics: Cancer


We believe that my wife's anal cancer treatment (not at Swedish) may have been unnecessarily aggressive - though it followed the approved generalized protocol - and suspect that the radiation she received 6 years ago may be implicated in some of her current problems with fructose malabsorption and/or other digestive disorder(s) . Her current "treatment" is based primarily on a low-FODMAP diet, which appears to be highly personalized (foods that may be "safe" for most people may or may not be safe for any particular individual ... and at this point, the only way to discover safe foods is through trial and error ... and errors can be very painful).I hope that the I-SPY trial is successful, and will lead to a broader recognition and practice of personalized health care.