Breast Cancer Research

Exciting Cancer Research & Treatment Options

Dr. Ross Cagan – Targeted Therapy

The most exciting treatment option that I have seen is Ross Cagan, PhD’s targeted personalized research utilizing fruit flies. In this video he discusses different cancer therapies and his specific research on personalized medicine using fruit flies. He also describes how his grant from the American Cancer Society has helped fund his research.

(Tar­geted therapy) is not really per­son­al­ized med­i­cine. It’s more genomics by voting,” Cagan said

Rather than go the route of attacking tumors with tar­geted therapy, the pio­neering researcher and his col­leagues at Mount Sinai Hos­pital in New York are taking an inno­v­a­tive approach to making treat­ment more personalized—one that involves an unlikely test subject. Fruit Flies! The life cycle of a fruit fly is 10 days from start to finish.

Dr. Cagan cre­ates a genetic copy of a patient’s tumor looking for errors, by sequencing the tumor DNA, and replicates the “error” or tumor in the eye of a fruit fly avatar. The fruit fly eventually develops the tumor. Next step is Dr. Cagan tests FDA approved drugs, he has a library of about 1,200 FDA-approved drugs. Some are cancer drugs, but most are not. He tests all of them against the tumors in the fruit flies. He checks to see if any of the drugs—either alone or in combinations—eradicates the tumor without killing the fly. Dr. Cagan breeds thousands of fly avatars for one patient so that he can test all of the drugs in his library multiple times. By doing this, he is able to come up with a cocktail of two to three drugs that work together against the tumor.

Dr. Cagan then passes on his findings to the patient and his or her oncologist. The next step: to admin­ister the suc­cessful drug cock­tail to the human patient. The results are showing great promise!

Other cutting edge treatment options: 

The future of cancer treatment is personalized medicine.