Cancer is a genomic disease. Cancer develops over many years by the accumulation of mutations in key genes referred to as oncogenes. Scientists have now discovered hundreds of oncogenes, and hundreds more will soon be discovered. A typical human cancer is driven by approximately 5 to 10 different oncogenes. Every human cancer can be defined by its oncogenes signature.
What is also known is the fact that the cancer treatment works best when we know the specific gene(s) that drive cancer in an individual patient and can be targeted with specific drugs. This type of individualized, targeted treatment is not only more effective but also is less toxic.
Also, there are a number of well-characterized heritable genetic mutations that predispose into developing different types of cancer. For example 55-65% of women who inherit specific mutations in BRCA1 and approximately 45% of women who inherit harmful mutations in BRCA2 develop breast cancer.
At ITOS Oncology, we identify actionable mutations in individual cancer biopsy material. We also screen for heritable genetic mutations that predispose individuals for the development of various cancers.