How do you choose which drugs to use to treat my cancer?


For colon cancer, there is a lot of good data. A lot of that data originated at Roswell Park in the 1970s. The data shows that there is a combination of drugs that has been proven to be somewhat effective for colon cancer. That combination of drugs has been expanded on in recent years and have become quite effective for colon cancer. We know through clinical trials, through thousands and thousands of patients who have been treated in the past, we can select the optimal chemotherapy that offers the best response for your particular tumor. We have multiple lines of chemotherapy now. We actually have certain drugs that have gone through clinical trials that are more specific for colon cancer and that are less toxic. We have pills now that are orally available so that patients can take the chemotherapy at home. There are a lot of decisions that go into choosing which drug is the best, but now, in the year 2013, we have a lot of options compared to what we had in the past.

Joseph Skitzki, MD, FACS

Increasingly, what we're doing, is looking at the genomic structure of any cancer. In this era of what's called personalized medicine, we can decide which drug would be most effective based on the genomic structure of that tumor. That's been a dream of ours for a long time, but it's coming to fruition.

James Marshall, PhD