The goal of personalized medicine is to tailor treatment for the individual patient, based on his or her unique responsiveness and sensitivity to a particular therapy, as opposed to the traditional "one-size-fits-all" paradigm, based on observable manifestations of a disease or treatment.
Cancer therapy is a natural field for personalized medicine, due to its many special challenges:
- Generally low response rates
- Narrow therapeutic window of available treatments
- Great differences between patients in their responsiveness
- Wide variations of patient susceptibility to side effects
- The significant costs associated with some cancer treatments
Most efforts in the area of "personalized medicine" focus on developing molecular and genetic tests that can predict response or clinical benefit from a particular treatment. However, known biomarkers are applicable only to small populations or to specific therapies. Moreover, given the large number of factors influencing response and sensitivity, developing an accurate predictive test is inherently challenging.
In light of these challenges, early assessment of the treatment effect is now recognized as a major unmet need in oncology. Molecular imaging may provide oncologists with the unique opportunity to identify biological changes that occur in a tumor as a result of treatment. Such information may effectively identify patients early on in their clinical course who are non-responders to a particular therapy, and can trigger a change in the course of therapy. The early assessment of the treatment response using biological and molecular endpoints can have a profound effect on tailoring a course of cancer therapy for patients in many areas of oncology.
Aposense technology may have an important role in advancing personalized cancer therapy for most solid tumors. The action of most anti-cancer treatments is to induce cell death, primarily by apoptosis. Imaging of apoptosis shows cell death, which is a key component of the biological response of the tumor to effect of treatment, and marks the beginning of the physiological process of tumor mass reduction following treatment.
See more under Molecular Imaging Applications - Oncology.
[18F]-ML-10 is an investigational agent, not yet approved for use outside clinical trials