Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2019
When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, you want the most effective cancer treatment available. Because each cancer is different, the same chemotherapy drug may not work the same way for each patient. At the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center (ECCC) at Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) physicians are utilizing an innovative approach for personalized chemotherapy treatment.
Chemotherapy is a type of treatment that includes medication or combination of medications to treat cancer. The goal of chemotherapy is to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. ChemoID® is a chemo-sensitivity test for both cancer stem-like cells and bulk tumor cells. It was developed to allow physicians to identify the most effective drug(s) specific to each patient before chemotherapy begins.
“Before beginning chemotherapy, a small sample of a patient’s tumor is collected,” said Anthony M. Alberico, MD, FACS, neurosurgeon and medical director of the Cabell Huntington Hospital Back & Spine Center and professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “That sample is then used to grow bulk tumor cells and cancer stem cells. ChemoID tests the effectiveness of standard chemotherapies against the patient’s actual cancer cells in the laboratory. This allows the most effective drug to be identified before treatment so patients can benefit the most.”
By assuring the use of the most effective chemotherapy drugs before treating the patient, trial and error is minimalized alleviating unnecessary stress and discomfort.
“This process allows the drugs to be used on the cancer cells and not the patient. It can lead to faster and more dramatic positive results,” Alberico explained. “ChemoID can also help patients by eliminating unnecessary and ineffective chemotherapies prior to administering treatment.”
ChemoID is a CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory-developed test. It was developed by former Marshall University Biomedical Sciences Researcher Pier Paolo Claudio, MD, PhD and Jagan Valluri, PhD, professor of Cellular Biology and Integrative Medicine at Marshall University. Much of the research was conducted at the Translational Genomics Research Institute at the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center.