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Home > Mediaroom > Press Releases > 2008 > The New Personalized Face of Cancer Care

Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Communications & Marketing
301.984.9496 ext. 226

ACCC News Release

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2008

The New "Personalized" Face of Cancer Care

The Right Drug for the Right Patient

ROCKVILLE, Md.—Despite advances, cancer treatment has remained fundamentally unchanged over the last 20 years. The vast majority of patients with cancer are treated with traditional cytotoxic agents, most of which were first introduced long ago. Moreover, treatment decisions are guided by an inadequate understanding of what will work, which unnecessarily exposes patients to therapies that are toxic, expensive, and often ineffective.

But times are changing. New advances in understanding the molecular make-up of tumors are rapidly emerging to reshape how treatment decisions are made, having a major impact on the clinical outcomes for patients and the economic impact on the health care system.

"A huge opportunity exists to improve the quality and lower the cost of care by using emerging insights into cancer biology to guide individual treatment decisions," said Dan Paterson. "New advances in personalized medicine offer the promise of better managing a patient's disease or predisposition toward cancer. Personalized medicine has the potential to deliver the right drug for the right patient at the right dose." Mr. Paterson is CEO of the DNA Repair Company. He will speak at the Association of Community Cancer Centers' 25th Oncology Economics Conference on Friday, September 19, 2008, in San Francisco.

Who needs chemotherapy? Who is a candidate for watchful waiting? Who needs radical surgery? Personalized medicine encompasses new methods of molecular analysis to answer these questions and help better manage a patient’s disease or predisposition toward a disease.

The clinical impact is huge. In 2007 about 1.45 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer and 560,000 Americans died of the disease. Untold numbers were treated with ineffective therapies that were not well-matched to their tumor. Better targeting of existing therapies would have a dramatic impact on the treatment of cancer and cut healthcare costs. About $100 billion was spent on direct oncology care in the U.S. in 2007.

Nowhere is personalized medicine needed more than in oncology. In patients with cancer, 75 percent may experience an ineffective response to any particular drug versus 30-70 percent for cholesterol drugs and 10-30 percent for hypertension drugs.

Learn about new progress being made to provide clinicians with data-driven tools that will help predict patient response to a range of currently available treatment options.

About the Association of Community Cancer Centers
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is the leading advocacy and education organization for the multidisciplinary cancer care team. More than 23,000 cancer care professionals from over 2,000 hospitals and practices nationwide are affiliated with ACCC. It is estimated that 65 percent of the nation's cancer patients are treated by a member of ACCC. Providing a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, ACCC is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the entire oncology care team. Our members include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, senior hospital executives, practice managers, pharmacists, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, social workers, and cancer program data managers. For more information, visit ACCC's website at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and read our blog, ACCCBuzz.

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