Gene therapies to combat cancers are becoming a reality. It may take a few more years before such therapies are widespread but it is happening. To me, this is one of the most exciting developments to occur in healthcare in recent years. Stay tuned.

From the AMA Daily email: 

Study: Lung cancer medicine reduced tumor size in patients with gene defect.

"Bloomberg News (9/28, Ostrow) reports Pfizer Inc.’s Xalkori (crizotinib) for advanced lung cancer reduced tumors in patients suffering from a rare genetic mutation, citing a study “that may provide the first targeted treatment for these patients.” The medicine shrunk the size of tumors in 36 of 50 patients in the study “while halting tumor growth in another nine, according to company-funded research released today at the European Society for Medical Oncology meeting in Madrid and online in the New England Journal of Medicine.” The company notes that around 15,000 people, “or 1 percent of the estimated 1.5 million annual new cases of non-small-cell lung cancer, have an abnormality to the ROS1 gene.”

        MedPage Today (9/28) reports that “ROS1 rearrangement defines a second molecular subgroup of NSCLC for which crizotinib is highly active,” Shaw and colleagues noted in the article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

        Reuters (9/28, Berkrot) also covers the news."