Reader and researcher, Gary Blau, is always reminding me how individualized treatment and dosing could help improve a patient’s quality of life–and help us live longer, too.

That principle was used here to treat a patient with solid tumors, not multiple myeloma.  But the concept excites me–and I’m not easily excited by most early research!

See what you think:

Man’s recurring tumors may change cancer care

September 27, 2012 – AP/CBS NEWS

It’s a medical nightmare: a 24-year-old man endures 350 surgeries since childhood to remove growths that keep coming back in his throat and have spread to his lungs, threatening his life. Now doctors have found a way to help him by way of a scientific coup that holds promise for millions of cancer patients.

The strange case is the first use in a patient of how to keep ordinary and cancerous cells alive indefinitely in the lab.

The discovery allows doctors to grow “mini tumors” from each patient’s cancer in a lab dish, then test various drugs or combinations on them to see which works best. It takes only a few cells from a biopsy and less than two weeks to do, with materials and methods common in most hospitals.

Although the approach needs much more testing against many different cancers, researchers think it could offer a cheap way to personalize treatment without having to analyze each patient’s genes…

For infections, it’s routine to grow bacteria from a patient in lab dishes to see which antibiotics work best, Dr. George Q. Daley, director of the stem cell transplantation program at Children’s Hospital in Boston, said in an email. “But this has never been possible with cancer cells because they don’t easily grow in culture,” he said.

The new technique may reveal in advance whether a person would be helped by a specific chemotherapy, without risking side effects and lost time if the drug doesn’t work…

CLICK HERE to read about the individualized case study that successfully employed the methodology used above.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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