Professor Espina provides an overview of how individualized cancer treatment is determined
Every individual’s disease is different. Personalized medicine strives to provide the right medicine for the right patient with the lowest toxicity. Personalized cancer therapy using proteomics involves molecular profiling of the patient’s cancer cells to map the susceptible drug targets and thereby guide therapy. Research, like that being done by the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, provides strategies for personalized treatment with the goal of providing physicians key missing molecular information about the disease in each of their patients and improving the quality of life for patients.
Drs. Lance Liotta and Emanuel Petricoin III, co-directors of George Mason University’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM), are pioneers in the field of patient-tailored research and personalized medicine. Using a novel and first of its kind drug target mapping technology that creates a unique profile or “fingerprint” of which drug targets are activated in each patient’s tumor, CAPMM’s researchers are tailoring treatment for each patient based on the unique characteristics of the patient's cells. Their goal – to offer hope by making diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s manageable for every patient.
Scientists in the CAPMM have invented technology to make basic discoveries about disease mechanisms, to profile molecules relevant to individualized patient therapy, discover new chemoprevention strategies, and test these discoveries and hypothesis in clinical trials. The Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine is working in collaboration with Inova Fairfax Hospital and the Side-Out Foundation to conduct clinical trials for breast cancer prevention and personalized breast cancer treatment. More clinical trials are being planned for other cancers.
The team also developed a nanoparticle technology, licensed to Ceres Nanosciences, which is being evaluated in a clinical trial at Inova Fairfax Hospital for early detection of Lyme disease.