We know that feeling as good as possible during treatment is important. Your tissue gives you the opportunity to test your body’s sensitivity to certain kinds of chemotherapy before you begin treatment. It can also help clinicians evaluate effectiveness prior to administering it to you to guide their chemo choices and save valuable time when time matters most.
Cancer is a genetic disease that is caused by changes in the DNA that change the way cells function. By testing your unique combination of genetic changes and tumor DNA sequencing, researchers can help provide information to your physician that can aid in their treatment planning. Knowledge of your specific genetic mutation profile helps especially in identifying targeted therapies and finding precise options showing the most promise for your genetic make-up.
Participating in clinical trials can be a good way to gain access to some of the latest treatment options before they become standard of care. By having frozen tumor tissue available, the researchers may be able to test the response of your tumor with their trial before testing it on you. In addition, many clinical trials pursue participants with live tumor tissue samples to aid in their research, so by having it available you increase the options available to you.
Your tumor tissue can be used to create a vaccine that is personal to your cancer, body and immune system. The vaccine will allow your body to recognize the cancer cells so it can more effectively fight them while stimulating your immune system.
A newly emerging field in precision medicine is the use of patient-derived cancer tissue that is grown into ‘organoids’ (3D cultures of cancerous cells) in the laboratory which can be used for large scale drug screening, fundamental cancer biology research, oncogene modeling, gene discovery and chemo-sensitivity studies.