Unit Overview: Oncogenomics

Welcome to Oncogenomics.

In this Unit we'll give you a brief overview of what oncogenomics is and how it fits into cancer care. Each of the topics covered in this until will be covered in more depth in the units that cover Advanced Diagnostics and Advanced Treatments. This short introduction aims to help you understand how this emerging field of science fits into, and differs from, standard treatment.

Oncogenomics, also known as next generation sequencing and precision medicine is the leading edge of cancer care. Thanks to the human genome project and the mapping, also known as sequencing, of DNA there as been an evolution in the study and science of cancer and new areas of medical science have been, and are being, developed. These advances are having significant impacts on our understanding of cancer and cancer treatment and care. 

Thanks to this research we are now able to sequence the DNA of cancer cells, leading to the creation of cancer genomics, also known as oncogenomics or next generation sequencing. By sequencing the DNA of cancer cells scientists are able to develop genetic profiles of cancer (also known as the molecular profile) of cancer. This means that it's now possible to learn about and understand the genetic makeup of individual cancers. From the molecular profile doctors are better able to more precisely diagnose cancers and provide more precise and targeted treatment options. 

As Alex said earlier, each cancer is unique, and the more we learn about the DNA of cancer and the genetic mutations that cause it, the more we understand why people with the same type of cancer respond differently to treatment. Precision Oncology looks at the molecular features of your cancer and allows you to choose treatments based on the genetic profile of your cancer instead of the location of your cancer. For some people, this approach is turning cancer from a once deadly disease to a manageable but chronic condition.

“The future of medicine is already here, it's just not evenly distributed. In this course we’ll cover the basics of cancer and cancer care, as well as the advance in medical science which are changing many of the treatment options available to us. In the following units of this course we’ll help you understand the latest advance in medical science and cancer care, what they are, why it’s important, and how to gain access. In the next unites of this course we’ll give you an overview, but for more details and self advocacy tips take a look at our larger course and the services provided by CTOAM” Alex

In this unit the Peer Support Team will share their experiences with how these treatments differed from standard care and their doctors original plans, and the impact these treatments had on their cancer journey. The treatment success rates made possible by oncogenomics exceed those offered by standard care and as a result can often seem too good to be true. Listen closely to the peer support team. As Kayleigh says, there is hope, not an abstract hope, but a real tangible pathway through and beyond cancer.

Transcript - Oncogenomics Overview.pdf
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