This week is an important one for us. I will be having a lung biopsy on Wednesday. A sample of my tumor will be sent to the Van Andel Institute where it will be genetically mapped. It will then be entered into a database containing the information of many other people whose tumors have also been genetically mapped along with our medical histories. A report based on this information will then be generated to recommend treatment for me. Rather than just knowing whether or not the cancer is HER2 negative or positive, etc., this goes down to the actual DNA. It’s as detailed as it can get–and as unique to each individual person and his or her particular cancer as it can get. This is called “personalized medicine.”
I am not worried about the lung biopsy. My only fear is that the report would come back with no recommendations. I know that even if this were the case the Institute will continue to collect information and will continue to generate reports as time goes on. But there is something about having an immediate recommendation that would be extremely heartening.
So, cancer, look out. This fight’s about to get personal…we hope.