May 15, 2013

Individualizing Therapies for Small Intestine Carcinoids

By Center for Individualized Medicine


Michaela Banck, M.D., Mayo Clinic oncologist and first author of study

A new understanding of the genomics behind small intestine neuroendocrine tumors shows promise in individualized apporaches to chemotherapy for this incurable cancer of the small bowel.

In a study published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Mayo Clinic Oncologist Michaela Banck, M.D., reports that as many as 72 percent of patients with this type of cancer stand to benefit from tumor sequencing and customized chemotherapy plans. Currently, the only known cure for small intestine carcinoids is surgery because the cancer responds poorly to chemotherapy and no suitable standard treatment regimens have been identified.

Instead, Dr. Banck proposes matching the right drug with the right patient, based on the molecular "fingerprint" of the cancer, rather than its location in the body. Doing so, she believes, will allow physicians to increase survival rates among patients with these types of tumors.

Several similar studies of cancer genomics are underway in the Center for Individualized Medicine, and the team that completed this study is preparing for clinical trials.

Read the full press release and watch a brief animation about pharmacogenomics, the science of how our genes influence response to medication.

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