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.

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 July 25, 2014 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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