Precision Oncology: The Future of Cancer Care

There are now options other than standard chemotherapy - precision oncology is changing the face of cancer care. The future of cancer care is NOW.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - August 24, 2018 - (

For years, the conventional wisdom has been that the type of cancer a person has is related to where the cancer is located: breast cancer is cancer found in the breast; colon cancer is cancer found in the colon, but precision oncology is turning that wisdom on its head, and CTOAM (Cancer Treatment Option and Management) is seeking to bring this new approach to Canadians.

The scientific community is now discovering that each person’s cancer has a specific genetic makeup which has less to do with where the cancer is in the body than it does that individual's genetics and lifestyle.

A person could have a cancerous genetic mutation normally associated with breast cancer in their stomach or a cancer associated with colon cancer in their bones. Precision oncology tests the genetic makeup of a cancer and then identifies drugs and treatments that have been proven effective against that specific cancerous mutation.

This new approach to cancer diagnosis and treatment is already being adopted around the world; a few years ago the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. announced a $70 million increase in funding for precision oncology and in 2016, BC Premier Kristy Clark added an additional $3 million in funding to the precision oncology program run by the BC Cancer Agency. In 2017, The Terry Fox Research Institute, in partnership with BC Cancer Agency and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, launched a pilot project to accelerate access to precision oncology for cancer patients across the nation. Each year, more projects studying and advancing precision oncology in Canada are introduced. And now, there is even more evidence that precision oncology is the next phase in cancer diagnosis and treatment. The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a large meta-study which tracked the diagnosis and care of over 13,000 patients. Those that received precision oncology showed remarkable results compared to those that received standard care. The tumor shrinkage rate for precision oncology was 30.6 percent compared to 4.9 percent with standard care. Progression-free survival rates almost doubled from 2.95 months with standard care to 5.7 with precision oncology. Dr. Don Dizon, ASCO’s chair of the Cancer Communications Committee, remarked, “Precision medicine is not the future of cancer care — it is the present. This study reinforces that the more we personalize treatment to the patient and the tumor, the better the outcomes.”

Currently, precision oncology is only offered in a limited capacity through Canada’s public healthcare, but for those that are able to pay, there are private companies that offer precision oncology. Alex Rolland, chief scientist at CTOAM (Cancer Treatment Options and Management), responded, “We are very excited to see that precision oncology is garnering so much attention; we have seen firsthand the improved outcomes that precision oncology can provide. We have had many cases where a patient has been told by their oncologist that there is nothing more they can do, and then we test the genetics of the cancer and find new therapies that extend their life.” To find out more about private precision oncology, please contact Cancer Treatment Options and Management at or email

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