Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genome Project's Likely Impact On Cancer Care: Limited In Short Term, Unpredictable In Long Term

Date:
March 5, 2001
Source:
University Of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
Completion of the human genome project will influence the general framework for anticancer drug development but not fundamentally alter it any time soon predict two cancer specialists in a commentary in the March issue of Nature Medicine.

Completion of the human genome project will influence the general framework for anticancer drug development but not fundamentally alter it any time soon predict two cancer specialists in a commentary in the March issue of Nature Medicine.

Related Articles


In "Gazing into a crystal ball -- Cancer therapy in the post-genomic era," Mark Ratain, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and Mary Relling, Pharm.D., of St Jude's Children's Research Center, the chair and vice-chair of the Pharmacogenetics of Anticancer Agents Research Group, caution that before genetic information allows doctors to tailor therapy to each patient, much more work must be completed.

"Although access to a patient's genetic information will someday make cancer therapy more effective," note the authors, many "technical, experimental and clinical advances must be made before this day can arrive."

"The basic process," they add, "of target identification, drug discovery, preclinical and clinical work will be facilitated -- but not necessarily revolutionized -- by the human genome sequence."

For guidance in predicting the future, Ratain and Relling turn to five basic principles of prognostication, as formulated by technology columnist Robert X. Cringely, host of the PBS-TV miniseries "Triumph of the Nerds." The five principles are:

-- 1) We tend to overestimate the amount of change that will take place in the short term.

-- 2) We tend to underestimate the amount of change that will take place in the long term.

-- 3) The more specific a prediction, the less likely it is to be correct.

-- 4) Past performance is a predictor of future results, but not a good one.

-- 5) The most reliable predictions are those that follow established trends.

The cost of individualized therapy appears to confirm principle one. While the genome project has reported the sequence of a few volunteers, individualized therapy will require personal sequence information from each patient. At the current rate, that would cost about $120 million per person. If sequencing costs continue to fall by about 50 percent a year, in line with rule five, the cost would become reasonable, at around $500, in 18 years.

Their sobering point is that despite this remarkable achievement, and even if we are able to follow it by mapping out all the genetic changes that play a role in cancer, a daunting amount of basic biology and pharmacology will remain to be tackled.

Consequently, cancer research is about to enter a transitional period, in which there will be "an abundance of genomic data," note the authors, "but an inability to use it to fully predict cancer treatment outcomes."

One sterling example is the recent success of STI-571, an unusually potent medication that targets a crucial gene defect in one particular type of leukemia. That gene defect, a translocation of chromosome 9 and 22, was first described by Janet Rowley of the University of Chicago -- in 1973, 28 years ago.

"Many of the root causes of cancer lie in genetic abnormalities," note the authors. Publication of the human genome project is a necessary first step in optimizing treatment of cancer and other human diseases. It will help identify the molecular differences between normal tissue and tumors, speed the identification of new treatment targets, improve classification of tumors and facilitate individual drug dosing -- which is the goal of the Pharmacogenetics Group.

Rule two -- we tend to underestimate long-term change -- applies to those who say this day will never come. But the more pessimistic rules one, four and five should remind us that the genome project was only the first step of a very long journey.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Genome Project's Likely Impact On Cancer Care: Limited In Short Term, Unpredictable In Long Term." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301074014.htm>.
University Of Chicago Medical Center. (2001, March 5). Genome Project's Likely Impact On Cancer Care: Limited In Short Term, Unpredictable In Long Term. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301074014.htm
University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Genome Project's Likely Impact On Cancer Care: Limited In Short Term, Unpredictable In Long Term." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010301074014.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins