Testing for Cancer Drug Sensitivity

The Cellular Genetics Test

Which chemo drugs shall we use? Which complementary therapies are right for you?

Unlike conventional chemotherapy treatment, IPT is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You are unique, and your response to various drugs and complementary therapies is not necessarily the same as the next person’s.

Think back to a time when you had a bladder infection. The lab tested your urine sample against different antibiotics to find out which ones were most effective at killing the bacteria. We use the same concept when choosing therapies for IPT.

We take a sample of your blood and test it against the chemo drugs and the various complementary therapies to find out what will be most effective for you. We also look at the genetic makeup of your very own cancer. When we custom tailor your therapy, you have a better result. This test is called the BioFocus Analysis.

The best lab in the world for this test, the one that delivers the most consistent results, is in Germany. The test is not inexpensive, and insurance usually does not pay for this test. But we strongly feel it is the best money you will ever spend.

The BioFocus Anaylsis shows us the genetic fingerprint of potential metastatic cancer cells, what are called circulating tumor cells. These cells are in the bloodstream; they are the metastatic “seeds” that can break away from the primary site of cancer and spread to other parts of the body. Understanding circulating tumor cells (CTC) is critically important, since it is the spread of cancer to other parts of the body – and not the primary cancer – that is often responsible for the death of a person with cancer.

Also, metastatic cancer cells can vary genetically from the primary tumor. At least two studies with breast cancer patients have demonstrated that CTC can be HER2 positive while the primary breast tumor can be HER2 negative.[5,6]

The BioFocus Anaylsis can predict which men with prostate cancer are more or less likely to benefit from surgery by looking at the makeup of their circulating tumor cells.[7]

A landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 compared women with lymph node-positive breast cancer who received the standard trio of chemotherapy drugs – Adriamycin®, Cytoxan®, and Taxol® (called ACT) to women who did not receive any chemotherapy. Their HER2 status was also determined – the genetic characteristic of the cancer. Researchers discovered that women who were HER2 negative and estrogen receptor positive did not benefit at all from taking Taxol®.[8] Because approximately two thirds of women with breast cancer fall into this category, the ramifications of this study are immense. So much for the ineffectiveness of the one-size-fits-all approach to cancer.

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2008 measured the effectiveness of an anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimen in 5,354 women with early-stage breast cancer. Anthracyclines are a class of chemotherapy drugs of which Adriamycin® is a key member. Scientists determined that women with early-stage breast cancer who were HER2 negative derived absolutely no benefit from taking Adriamycin® or other anthracycline drugs.[9] Given that approximately 80% of breast cancers are HER2 negative, then only 1 out of 5 women with breast cancer can benefit from these drugs that have considerable toxicity associated with their use. In another study, 7% of patients treated with Adriamycin® developed congestive heart failure.[10]

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