Sunday, September 23, 2012

Whole Genome Sequencing and Cancer Treatments

Hi all,

I want to share a really interesting story about how whole genome sequencing was used to treat a patient's case of unresponsive leukemia. After a young cancer researcher discovered that he had unresponsive leukemia, he was able to use his medical connections to fully sequence the genomes of his cancer cells, his healthy cells, and his RNA. These sequences revealed that he had a mutation in his FLT3 gene that was causing an overproduction of a particular protein. He took a drug intended to treat kidney cancer that shuts town FLT3, and his cancer has since gone into remission. This is a very cool story with interesting implications about using increasingly accessible genome sequencing to individually tailor medical treatments.

The NYT article:

A related New England Journal of Medicine article:


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