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Increasingly Personal

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One of the recurring themes at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting earlier this month was that genetic information could personalize cancer treatments, reports the Wall Street Journal's Ron Winslow. "A pattern is developing at an accelerated pace where we are able to match genetic information about a tumor to a new agent and get results," says John Mendelsohn at MD Anderson Cancer Center. And, the Journal says, many drug companies are working on new therapies linked to certain genetic profiles: for example, Roche Holding and Daiichi Sankyot are working together to develop the skin cancer drug vemurafenib that inhibits a BRAF mutation that is found in more than half of patients with advance melanoma. However, Winslow adds that researchers stress that personalized treatments don't necessarily lead to cures.

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