Nav: Home

The growing role of precision and personalized medicine for cancer treatment

January 28, 2019

In a paper published in the September/December 2018 issue of TECHNOLOGY, a group of researchers from Rutgers University Department of Biomedicine Engineering have published a review paper on the transformative potential of precision and personalized medicine (PPM) for cancer treatment.

A group of Rutgers PhD fellows and faculty published a review paper on the transformative potential of precision and personalized medicine (PPM) for cancer treatment. Their analysis considers the entire process from acquiring PPM data, to developing a PPM product, and addresses broader economic and societal consequences. This review paper is the culminating achievement of a cohort of twelve Ph.D. student fellows at Rutgers University that were funded under the US Department of Education Graduate Training in Emerging Areas of Precision and Personalized Medicine Grant (Award Number P200A150131). Professor Martin Yarmush served as the Program Director and Principal Investigator of the award.

A primary message of the paper is that PPM has the potential to transform cancer care (see image). The traditional model is limited to tumor detection, followed by general treatment procedures such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In contrast, the PPM approach allows for targeted treatments, which are more effective and avoid unnecessary side effects. These treatments are identified by analyzing specific tissues, gene mutations, and personal factors relevant to each unique case of cancer. Examples of such emerging treatments include immunotherapies, cancer vaccines, companion diagnostics, and more.

In addition, the authors addressed societal issues of PPM in healthcare. Although potentially transformative, a lot of difficult questions must be answered before PPM becomes part of standard cancer care. These include regulatory challenges, economic concerns and feasibility, and associated socioeconomic and privacy issues. Today, PPM technology exists and is rapidly becoming more efficient and sophisticated; however, these questions must be tackled in order to allow for the smooth integration of PPM into cancer care.
Authors include Paulina Krzyszczyk, Alison Acevedo, Erika J. Davidoff, Lauren M. Timmins, Ile-ana Marrero-Berrios, Misaal Patel, Corina White, Christopher Lowe, Joseph J. Sherba, Clara Hartmanshenn, Kate M. O'Neill, Max L. Balter, Zachary R. Fritz, Ioannis P. Androulakis, Rene S. Schloss & Martin L. Yarmush. All authors are from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and/or the Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers.

This work was funded by the Graduate Training in Emerging Areas of Precision and Personalized Medicine Grant (award number P200A150131) from the U.S. Department of Education. We would also like to acknowledge funding from The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH T32 GM008339).

Corresponding author for this review in TECHNOLOGY is Professor Martin Yarmush.

For more insight into the research described, readers are invited to access the TECHNOLOGY ">paper on TECHNOLOGY.


Caption: Traditional versus PPM model for cancer treatment. A comparison of the key differences in the traditional model of cancer treatment and the emerging PPM model. Traditionally, cancer has been treated using general, 'one size fits all' approaches such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical excision of tumors. These treatments vary widely in efficacy across individuals and also often cause harm to healthy, non-cancerous organs and tissues. The PPM approach is characterized by individualized treatments tailored to specific tissues, gene mutations, and personal factors relevant to each unique case of cancer. Companion diagnostics help identify which treatments will be most effective for a specific patient's tumor, and novel cell therapies are used to target the cancer with minimal damage to healthy tissues, making the PPM model more effective and safer.

Fashioned as a high-impact, high-visibility, top-echelon publication, this new ground-breaking journal - TECHNOLOGY - will feature the development of cutting-edge new technologies in a broad array of emerging fields of science and engineering. The content will have an applied science and technological slant with a focus on both innovation and application to daily lives. It will cover diverse disciplines such as health and life science, energy and environment, advanced materials, technology-based manufacturing, information science and technology, and marine and transportations technologies.

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research, professional and educational communities. The company publishes about 600 books annually and about 135 journals in various fields. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organizations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit For more information, contact Tay Yu Shan at

World Scientific

Related Cancer Articles:

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.
Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at