Personalized Cancer Care in an Age of Anxiety

Hastings Center Report 40 (5):18-21 (2010)
Abstract
To get an idea of how personalized medicine could reshape patient care in the years ahead, one need only look at how it is beginning to reshape the care of patients with cancer. Cancer is where personalized medicine has gained its firmest foothold. The longstanding scattershot practice of prescribing the same drugs to virtually all patients with a particular type of cancer is giving way to a more selective approach in which genetic tests are run on tumor samples to identify which patients are likely to benefit from which drugs, or to tell whether they need drugs at all. This shift holds the prospect of improving cancer care and the stewardship of costly cancer care resources. It has had its successes and failures ..
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