The Way of the Future: Personalizing Treatment Plans Through Technology

Liefaard M, Lips E, Wesseling J, Hylton N, Lou B, Mansi T, Pusztai L

Advances in tissue analysis methods, image analysis, high-throughput molecular profiling, and computational tools increasingly allow us to capture and quantify patient-to-patient variations that impact cancer risk, prognosis, and treatment response. Statistical models that integrate patient-specific information from multiple sources (e.g., family history, demographics, germline variants, imaging features) can provide individualized cancer risk predictions that can guide screening and prevention strategies. The precision, quality, and standardization of diagnostic imaging are improving through computer-aided solutions, and multigene prognostic and predictive tests improved predictions of prognosis and treatment response in various cancer types. A common theme across many of these advances is that individually moderately informative variables are combined into more accurate multivariable prediction models. Advances in machine learning and the availability of large data sets fuel rapid progress in this field. Molecular dissection of the cancer genome has become a reality in the clinic, and molecular target profiling is now routinely used to select patients for various targeted therapies. These technology-driven increasingly more precise and quantitative estimates of benefit versus risk from a given intervention empower patients and physicians to tailor treatment strategies that match patient values and expectations.

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