In 10 seconds? Efforts to improve precision oncology are being developed in every branch of cancer research, from prevention to screening, to treatment. However, before these methods take the main stage, the cancer research community must overcome multiple barriers.

Can you remind me what ‘precision oncology’ means? Absolutely! Generally (and with plenty of exceptions) cancer treatments are based on tumor location and stage (like Stage IV melanoma or Stage I breast cancer), to dictate what treatment is best for a patient (it could be described as a “blunt” approach). In contrast, most precision oncology approaches use laboratory technologies to figure out what abnormalities are occurring inside cancerous cells to figure out what treatment is best (a refined approach). That means precision oncology sometimes dictates that two very different cancers receive similar treatment based on shared biological features (like BRCA1/2 mutations for example).

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