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 August 21, 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 August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. 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