Cancer will become a manageable
condition rather than a death sentence within a decade, experts boldly
Scientists believe they are close to rolling out a radical technique
that allows them to develop extremely personalised cancer treatments,
that will substantially increase life expectancy.
They think within five to ten years they will be able to sequence the
DNA of tumours in every cancer patient – allowing doctors to deliver a
highly tailored treatment.
The work, due to start at the £3million Tumour Profiling Unit in London
this year, is expected to pave the way for radical forms of diagnosis,
surveillance and therapy.
Doctors think closely examining the genetic make-up of every individual
tumour will revolutionise the effectiveness of the treatments at their
They say the technique could substantially increase life expectancy,
allowing terminally-ill patients to live for a decade or more in good
Professor Alan Ashworth, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer
Research, which is running the project, said: ‘None of this is science
'One would think in five or ten years this will be absolutely routine
practice for every cancer patient, and that’s what we’re aiming to bring
‘We should be aspiring to cure cancer, but for people with advanced
disease, it will be a question of managing them better so they survive
for much longer – for many years.
‘Cancer often appears in people who are old, and if we can keep them
alive long enough for them to die of something else, then we are turning
cancer into a chronic disease.’
Genetic profiling of cancer is already being investigated at several
laboratories around the world, but the new unit will pioneer its use, he
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