How quickly can we bring new effective treatments to cancer patients?
A record-high number of attendees streamed into the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, where former Vice-President Joe Biden gave a shout-out to the trials.cancer.gov site that has eased patient enrollment in clinical trials. “Drug companies are over the moon about it”, he stated. With the introduction of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative in 2016, Biden has challenged the nation to find cures for cancer within five years.
Our society is driven to find cures for all types of cancer. Accelerating cure require a multi-pronged effort. New approaches to identify cancer biomarkers for earlier detection. are underway. Can we eradicate cancer? Or find a way to immunize against the disease in a manner that the oncogene mutations can be controlled? Maybe, but that is ‘not coming soon to a clinic near you’.
In the meantime, the best weapon against cancer is early detection and cures with effective therapies. The history of cancer treatment has demonstrated that a few cancers have an effective single drug therapy, but most others are more complex and do not respond to single drug therapies. They warrant personalization by which each patient is treated more effectively based on the specific genetic abnormalities of their tumor.
Prospects for patients with cancer have improved dramatically with more effective treatments. A significant advance is the ability to characterize each patient’s cancer genetic profile with improved next generation sequencing. However this technologic advance to ‘Personalized Medicine”, could not deliver on its promise to open new therapeutic opportunities, leaving oncologists with major disappointments.
The presumption of personalized medicine was that, “More information is always better”. Of course, considerable information was available, but it was overload morphed into ‘noise’. Unable to translate the noise into actionable interventions, several oncologists rapidly became disillusioned and skeptical of personalized medicine.
Pieces of the puzzle were stacked into a large pile, until Cellworks came along, selected the relevant pieces and constructed actionable therapy personalized for each cancer patient.
When a cancer patient walks into the doctor’s office, what is the biggest challenge? It is to identify the best therapy for the patient. This dilemma worsens after a few rounds of ineffective therapies. Why didn’t the therapy regimen work? This is yet another frustrating dimension of the treatment puzzle.
Wouldn’t a predictive therapeutic outcome ease this dilemma? Yes. That’s where Cellworks comes in! Using advanced biosimulation modeling, Cellworks identifies the therapeutic match for the patient’s cancer, and shows the causative rationale for it. By predictively separating responders from non-responders to drugs, simultaneously, causality is demonstrable., Cellworks makes therapeutic decisions easier for oncologists.
Cellworks has initiated a new paradigm by building on the information derived from next-generation sequencing (NGS), with a unique approach to personalized therapy. Using bio-simulation technology, Cellworks has changed cancer therapy and drug development through precise, individualized disease modeling.
Cellworks enhances the science beyond the prevailing ‘one-mutation one-drug’ paradigm. Cellworks’ tumor analysis identifies multiple targets in a patient’s cancer, and analytically selects the unique combination of drugs drawn from all FDA-approved medicines that knock out or slow down the growth of cancer cells. Comprehensive reports predictive of successful therapy are presented to the oncologist within 72 hours of obtaining the NGS information. In addition, based on the molecular pathways and interactions that are active in the patient’s cancer, the rational for the treatment is provided. This causality-based analysis is presented to the patient’s oncologist in a straight forward format that has proven highly efficacious in hundreds of patients.
Cellworks has moved beyond the stage of proof of concept, and validated our pioneering technology that identifies specific targets in the patient’s cancer and recommends unique drug combinations for the most effective treatments of patients with blood related cancers.
Just as President John F. Kennedy pledged that Americans would put a human on the moon in the 1960s, Vice-President Biden now says that this generation must be devoted to winning the fight against cancer, and “unwilling to postpone a battle we know we can win.” The sooner the adoption of new approaches to treatment decisions, the faster we will cure cancer or morph it into a controllable chronic disease.