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Toward Personalized and Chronic

While there may not be a single cure for cancer, the Sydney Morning Herald's Bridie Smith writes that there have been advances in identifying and understanding various subtypes of different forms of cancer and in personalizing patients' treatments for these diseases.

"Every patient is an individual," Kylie Mason from the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Melbourne University tells Smith. "They are going to respond differently [than] somebody else with the same named diagnosis. We're not treating a cancer, we're treating a patient."

Jayesh Desai, also from the Royal Melbourne Hospital, adds determining what goes awry at a molecular level to lead to cancer will, in turn, enable personalized treatments. "To be able to do molecular and genomic tests allows us to much better understand what makes a patient's cancer behave in a particular way and that will allow for more tailored treatments," Desai says.

While an out-and-out cure may remain elusive, Smith notes that cancer, especially with recent promising work into immunotherapies, could be transformed into a chronic condition.