A New Treatment’s Tantalizing Promise Brings Heartbreaking Ups and Downs

July 10, 2012

New York Times - Beth McDaniel’s oncologist, a bear of a man, hugged her and twirled her around. For the first time since a rare cancer appeared eight years before, her lymph nodes had shrunk to a normal size, her skin was no longer bright red and inflamed, and the itchiness that plagued her had subsided. Mrs. McDaniel, the 69-year-old wife of a retired corporate executive, had gambled on the ultimate in personalized medicine, an approach known as whole genome sequencing, and it seemed to be paying off. Scientists had compared the entire genetic sequences of the tumor cells invading her body with those in her healthy cells, searching for mutated tumor genes that could be thwarted by drugs approved for other cancers or even other diseases.

New York Times article

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