Generally, treating cancer with medications requires a waiting period to see how the patient responds to the given drugs. If the response is not as expected, the type of drugs may need to be changed.

However, currently, an innovative treatment called Cancer Avatar is used to deliver precise and suitable drugs to patients from the very beginning of the treatment process.

Dr. Vigrom Jennetisin, a medical oncologist at Vejthani Hospital, explained that treating cancer with Precision Medicine or personalized treatment approach is done by gene examinations to find the mutations that occurred in the cancer cells. The examination results will be used as the data for the doctor to determine the drugs that will be most suitable for the mutations. Although Precision Medicine is a personalized treatment, after medications have been given, the patient’s response to those medications needs to be constantly monitored for some time. The patient will undergo CT scan, which will detect cancer cells in the body. If the response to the treatment is poor or does not meet expectations, the type of drugs that have been used may need to be changed to increase the efficacy of the treatment.

Researchers have found a different approach in the present day. Cancer Avatar is implemented to test the responsiveness of each drug before using it on the patient. Cancer Avatar is a treatment approach done by collecting cancer tissues from the patient and culturing them in the lab for them to grow until they become similar to the cancer cells in the body. The cancer cell in the lab will represent the cancer cells in the patient’s body. Those represented cancer cells will then be tested with each type of cancer treatment to see how they respond before using that particular treatment on the patient.

Cancer Avatar is beneficial for patients with advanced-stage cancer, where the disease has already spread and did not respond well to standard treatment, such as surgery, radiation or general cancer medications. In that case, patients may need new cancer medications or innovative treatment approach that is not the standard method.

Cancer Avatar will be used to determine the right medications, which would boost patients’ confidence and the accuracy of the treatment. For instance, if 10 types of chemotherapy are compatible with the patient’s cancer pathogenesis, the doctor will test the efficacy and response of each of those types of chemotherapy with Cancer Avatar. This allows the doctor to determine or choose the type of chemotherapy that turned out to be the most suitable type for cancer without requiring the patient to test all those 10 types.

If a drug that has been tested with Cancer Avatar yields a good response, there is a 70-80% chance that that drug will have positive effects on the patient as well.

 “The reason why the response rate of a drug on the actual patient does not match 100% with the response rate it has on the represented cells, is because there are various factors that determine the drug response, especially the internal environment of the body. For instance, when certain drugs are delivered into the body, they run through the bloodstream or by any other means, causing distinct results as seen from the test,”

said Dr. Vigrom.

For inquiries, or to make an appointment,

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