Precision medicine for cancer treatment: so close, yet so far

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Cancer treatment research and the development of innovative treatments are at its peak. This was confirmed during the recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which gathered the largest number of professionals and patients in the organization’s history, and in which advances in clinical studies, new treatments and combination therapies were showcased. Moreover, experts from around the world who are currently revolutionizing cancer treatment approaches, participated in the meeting in different talks. Without a doubt, the ASCO has made a major contribution to oncology and, above all, to the medical community and its patients. 

Precision medicine has been one of the most important advances, which shows the progress in the design of specific treatments for each patient that has been done by the medical and scientific community. Among them is the sequencing of treatments, which combines the most standardized, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with new treatments, such as immunotherapy (for which there is much scientific evidence), and gene and cell therapies with the aim of obtaining better results.

These are complex and expensive treatments that require strong commitment and coordinated efforts in order for patients to receive treatment as soon as possible. Patients now have greater access to information and participate more in the public agenda, which has made them demand greater transparency in research, and greater interaction with public authorities, with whom partnerships are required to gain access to innovative therapies for the common good.  

Despite the advances in research for the development of precision medicine, these take a long time to reach those who need it. Agreements with authorities, organizations and companies to materialize these treatments must be made.

This document analyzes the advances made in precision medicine to treat and care for cancer patients and addresses one of the most important recent cases of a patient with lymphoma in Brazil, which provides a ray of hope in the treatment of certain types of cancer. Additionally, it recommends specific actions not only to arouse interest in innovation, but to showcase the importance of precision medicine and drive action.