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HomeTestimonials Change of TreatmentGenetic Targeting - Personalised Care

Genetic Targeting - Personalised Care

Tobacco smoking is by far the leading cause of lung cancer, attributing to 80% of lung cancer cases and is also responsible for a multitude of others as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.

However, not all people suffering from lung cancer have a history of smoking. For the most part, non-smokers diagnosed with lung cancer have a certain genetic mutation which is the main cause of the disease. This has led to advancements in new specialised drug treatments aimed at targeting specific genetic mutations to treat patients effectively.

 

Mr. J is one such patient, who was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer at the age of 42. He completed a course of chemotherapy, the standard treatment for his disease. However, despite the rigorous treatment regimen, the cancer progressed to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer in under a year.

 

Metastatic cancer develops when the cells of a cancerous tumour invade tissues in other locations than their original organ. If the cells reach the bloodstream or the lymphatic system, the cancer may spread throughout the body. The origin of the cells determines the type of cancer, while specific genetic mutations that the cancer expresses can indicate suitable treatment strategies.

 

Mr. J's treating physicians commenced systemic treatment with Gefitinib, a common drug for metastatic lung cancer, and a targeted therapy known to work for certain patients with an EGFR mutated gene, but it had limited effect, and Mr. J’s disease continued to progress as his chances for survival deteriorated.

 

 

In the hopes of finding a more effective treatment strategy, Mr. J contacted Medix. Medix appointed a dedicated Personal Medical Case team for Mr. J and with his consent, Medix retrieved all his clinical records, including imaging and molecular analysis, and sent them to a world-renowned oncologist, specialised in the treatment of lung cancer.

 

The consultant’s aim was to examine how to adapt and personalised Mr. J's systemic treatment more precisely to his condition. He carefully reexamined the disease progression as well as the molecular analysis and discovered that the targeted therapy that was given to Mr. J initially did not suit his genetic mutation, as Mr. J presented with BRAF mutation which is not the target of Gefitinib. Since the treatment was not fit for Mr. J’s specific cancer mutation, it had a very limited effect.

 

Medix’ consultant oncologist advised Mr. J to adopt a target-specific therapy that was aimed precisely for the BARF mutation his cancer displayed. He did so by introducing Mr. J to a relatively new treatment which was not offered previously, a combination targeted therapy of Dabrafenib and Trametinib, which was in the stages of advanced clinical trials. The suggested treatment, although relatively new, had already shown much better results in recent clinical trials among patient who presented with BRAF mutation and metastatic lung cancer.

 

The consulting oncologist recommended that Mr. J enroll in a clinical trial using the mentioned combined targeted therapy. Subsequently, Medix’ Research Team had found that an international trial was active and introduced Mr. J to a local national cancer centre that participated in the trial, allowing access to the treatment and clinical trial.

 

In retrospect, Mr. J was disappointed that his initial treating doctors, although highly regarded, were unable to devise a treatment strategy that addressed his personal needs effectively.

 

 

Mr. J continues to show remarkable improvement since commencing the clinical trial. He is extremely grateful for Medix' guidance and support during this difficult time and is utterly impressed by the level of expertise, global reach, and breadth of medical knowledge coupled with unwavering determination to find a viable treatment plan to save his life.  

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