A Daunting Challenge
A comprehensive analysis of the cancer genome remains a daunting challenge. There is no single technology at present that will detect all the types of abnormality (deletions, rearrangements, point mutations, frameshift insertions, amplifications, imprinting, and epigenetic changes) implicated in cancer.
Microarrays and gene chip analysis, however, are beginning to unveil some key genomic drivers. Many clinical trials now include genomic profiles of cancer patients in an attempt to better understand who will and who won't respond to the drug.
Genomic profiles are even used to monitor where and how the cancer genome has been hit during molecularly-targeted therapies.
Mining and sharing all this data should eventually help oncologists better integrate the genotypic and phenotypic changes that occur in a person during cancer's progression.
This knowledge will be used to bring earlier and better interventions to cancer patients.