Personalized medicine offers glimpse into the future

Personalized medicine offers glimpse into the future - City & Region - The ...Buffalo NewsAndrew M. Cuomo to spur economic development, awarded one of its largest grants – $5.1 million – for a new Center for Personalized Medicine at Roswell Park, and it is now getting under way. The cancer center invested $16 million, much of it for a ...

If you want a glimpse into the future of medicine, look at Mary Sullivan.

The 63-year-old retiree from Corning lives anxiously with lung cancer, a disease that causes more deaths each year than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined.

Progress in treatment has been slow, but there are encouraging signs.

Her doctors at Roswell Park Cancer Institute compared her tumor cells with her healthy cells in search of a gene mutation that is found in about 15 percent of patients in the United States and that can cause uncontrolled cell growth. Knowing that she carried the mutation, doctors put her on the drug Tarceva, which targets the mutation with fewer side effects than standard systemwide chemotherapy.

“The drug is working. I’m still here and am content with that,” said Sullivan, who was diagnosed with advanced disease in the fall of 2010.

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