Correkt-Chemo – Personalize your Chemotherapy


Cancer is a name given to a collection of related diseases. Cancer can start any place in the body, starting with cells growing out of control and crowding out normal cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should. Cancerous tumors are malignant and they invade nearby tissues, travel to distant places in the body through the blood, forming new tumors far from the original tumors. Cancer can be treated very well for many people and can help them lead full lives.

Various therapies use medicines or drugs to treat cancer. Surgery and radiation therapy remove, kill, or damage cancer cells in a certain area, but chemotherapy can work throughout the whole body. Chemotherapy can kill cancer cells that have metastasized or spread to parts of the body far away from the primary (original) tumor. Multiple drugs with different actions can work together to kill more cancer cells. This can also reduce the chance that the cancer may become resistant to any one chemo drug.

Once a patient is diagnosed with cancer, routinely patient receives the “conventional / standard” chemotherapy regimens. These regimens are common to all patients with that particular cancer type. Such “one size fits all” approach is one of the most important reasons of treatment failure and cancer recurrence. To avoid such “trial and error” approach and to save the precious time, Correkt-chemo is a must for a successful cancer therapy management.

  • What is Correkt-chemo?

It is the only test available that identifies directly, the most effective chemotherapy drugs that can kill cancer cells. In this test, live tumor cells obtained from fresh biopsy are treated with different chemotherapy drugs and their combinations.  The effect of these drugs is studied in real time to analyze the direct efficacy of each cancer drug to kill the cancer cells. This allows oncologists to personalize and improve the treatment by selecting the best suitable drugs before starting chemotherapy.

  • How is Correkt-chemo helpful?

Not all drugs work the same on all patients. Some drugs may not prove beneficial and waste valuable time and resources at this critical point in treatment. With Correkt-chemo test, there is a way to know how effective the chemotherapy will be, before the start of treatment. It will help your oncologist choose the best chemotherapy regimen from the NCCN approved list. Correkt-chemo test directly measures the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs on your live tumor cells and provides a personalized efficacy profile of individual chemotherapy drugs. Thus instead of speculating about how effective chemotherapy will be by costly trial and error, we get that information well before beginning the therapy. It helps to identify at an early stage whether the treatment is likely to work or not and to spare patient’s the unnecessary toxicity of ineffective drugs. It helps to provide patient with the right treatment for the right target without delay.

Knowing the right chemotherapy from the very beginning is the best option. As fresh tumor sample is required, the test can be performed and results can be provided to you and your physician to aid in the determination of the best drugs for you, and you can ensure that you receive the most effective chemotherapy from all available options.

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Metastasis – Making the fight against cancer tougher


Cancer in itself is a traumatizing phase in anyone’s life. However, it is more painful when the cancer recurs after the treatment. Cancer recurrence happens due to many reasons. Metastasis is one of those.

About Metastatic Breast Cancer

Sometimes, the cancer spreads to the other parts of the body which are far from the spot where it originated. When breast cancer metastasizes, it is also classified as Stage 4 breast cancer.  It usually spreads to the the lungs, liver, bones or brain. Metastasis is the name of the process by which cancer spreads to the other parts. The chances of metastasis are most amongst breast cancer. The risk of metastatic cancer varies from person to person. Even though cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is still treated as the original cancer. i.e. breast cancer spread to the lungs will still be considered and treated as breast cancer, not lung cancer.

 How does cancer metastasize?

Cancer usually metastasizes or spreads through one or more of the steps mentioned below-

  • Cancer cells invade healthy cells around them.

When the healthy cell is taken over by the cancer cells, it can replicate more abnormal cells and spread the cancer.

  • Cancer cells penetrate into the circulatory system.

Cancer cells travel through the walls of nearby lymph vessels or blood vessels. Sometimes, they get carried by the lymph system and the bloodstream to other parts of the body and it causes harm.

  • Cancer cells get stuck in capillaries.

Sometimes, cancer cells stop moving as they are lodged in capillaries at a distant location. There, they get divided then migrate into the surrounding tissue.

  • Micro metastases.

Micro metastases are the small tumors formed by cancer cells at the new location. This might make cancer cells spread.

Image credits - http://cache1.bioon.com/
Image credits – http://cache1.bioon.com/

Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer

The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer vary depending on how far the breast cancer has spread and what type of tissue the new cancer growth has invaded. These symptoms may also vary depending on where the cancer has spread to.

Here are some common symptoms of breast cancer metastasis according to the various locations in the body.

Metastasis to the bone:

  • Bones that are more easily fractured or broken
  • Severe, progressive pain
  • Swelling

Metastasis to the brain:

  • Persistent, progressively worsening headache or pressure to the head
  • Vision disturbances
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Behavioral or personality changes

Metastasis to the liver:

  • Jaundice
  • Itchy skin or rash
  • Abnormally high enzymes in the liver
  • Abdominal pain, appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting

Metastasis to the lungs:

  • Chronic cough or inability to get a full breath
  • Abnormal chest X-ray
  • Chest pain

Apart from the above, other nonspecific systemic symptoms of metastatic breast cancer include fatigue, weight loss, and poor appetite.

If these symptoms are noticed in the breast cancer patient, be sure you talk with your physician.

Treatment of metastatic breast cancer is guided by many factors like characteristics of the cancer cells, location where the cancer has spread, its symptoms, and treatments used in past. This treatment is highly personalized and depends on the characteristics of cancer and tolerance of the patient. Side effects are also taken into consideration.

Today, many advanced treatments are available for metastatic breast cancer. Even though the treatments might not guarantee to cure the cancer completely, they definitely help to control it.

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Lung cancer and its causes beyond smoking


In India, lung cancer constitutes more than 7 per cent of all new cancer cases and around 10 per cent of all cancer related deaths. This is applicable for both genders. Lung cancer is the commonest cancer and biggest cause of cancer related mortality in men. Whenever we read about lung cancer, the first thought that comes to our mind is smoking. Indeed, smoking is the biggest cause of lung cancer, however, other factors cannot be overlooked as they too affect both the genders equally. One of those is our genetic make-up.

Lung cancer tops the list of cancers in males – In India and globally.

While smoking is a known risk factor, pollution, passive smoking and hazardous work environment – like asbestos, mica, coal and bauxite mining. 15% of the lung cancer cases in India are often attributed to a combination of genetic factors, radon gas, asbestos, pesticides and air pollution including passive and static smoking.

Second hand smoke

It is one of the important factors in tobacco-related deaths in India. Second-hand smoke is the one that fills enclosed places like restaurants, offices when people smoke cigarettes, cigars, or bidis. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals in out of which at least 250 are harmful and more than 50 chemicals from it are known to cause cancer. This also affects children as many of them regularly breathe polluted air in public spaces which has smoke in it. Around 45% children have either of the parents having smoking habit.
Britain recently made a law that stops anyone from smoking in a car that has passengers below 18 years of age. More than 2 lakh people die because of second hand smoke in India.

Asbestos

Lung cancer is more common in the people who work in sectors like auto mechanics, construction workers, insulation installer, roofers, paper mill workers, etc. Risk of Lung cancer increases from exposure to asbestos every year by 4 percent.

Image credits- liquidarea.com
Image credits- liquidarea.com

Genetic Make up

Genes and genetic variations in our body contribute to the bodily functions and overall health. This also includes the possibility of having various diseases which are hereditary or developed in our body due to changes in the genetic codes. Researchers studied entire genomes of cancer patients as well as healthy individuals and found out a region on chromosome 15 which may have been influential in causing lung cancer. Mutations in CHEK 2 gene also largely affect the risk of lung cancer. Some people inherit a reduced ability or inability to break down certain types of cancer-causing chemicals in the body. E.g. those found in tobacco smoke. This increases their risk of lung cancer.

Datar Genetics Limited offers Hereditary Cancer Screening test which identifies such risk for lung and other forms of cancer. This test can help your doctor to decide further course of treatment.

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