New medicine means research rethink

It's time to re-evaluate how we define cancers, researchers say

Erik Vance
Jun 2, 2009
The push for personalized medicine is forcing cancer researchers to re-evaluate how they approach the disease, and shifting the focus of research to diagnostic tools, a trio of leaders in the field of genomics said yesterday (June 2) at a panel discussion on personalized medicine marking the opening of a new cancer research center at the University of California, San Francisco.
J. Craig Venter, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, and Brook Byers

Photo: J. Ryan Williams
Scientists are breaking out of the mold of typing cancer by the part of the body in which it originates, said linkurl:Susan Desmond-Hellmann,;http://www.ucsfhealth.org/adult/health_library/news/2009/05/121510.html, who was recently appointed chancellor of UCSF. While with Genentech between 1995 and last month, Desmond-Hellmann oversaw the development of the drug Herceptin, which targets breast tumors formed by a genetic mutation that upregulates the gene HER2. Herceptin, touted as an early success in personalized medicine, is "a very precise weapon not for breast...
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