Ann Conkle
Mar 9, 2012

Ways to make personalized cancer therapies more cost effective

As scientists continue making breakthroughs in personalized cancer treatment, delivering those therapies in the most cost effective manner has become increasingly important. Now researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine argue the cost of profiling patients' tumors for specific molecular abnormalities must be considered. They suggest two key ways molecular profiling can be made more cost effective. First, clinicians could recommend testing only some patients based on finding certain key clinical factors that increase the chances of a patient having a specific molecular abnormality in their tumor. The downside is that some positive patients may be missed if they don't fit a classical stereotype. Second, either the cost of the profiling test for each individual molecular abnormality has to be reduced for every patient screened, or tests must be merged so doctors can look for multiple different abnormalities at the same time at a lower combined price.