The fight against cancer is the greatest challenge for medicine and requires a rapid transition from traditional diagnosis to the personalization that implies the molecular genetic type, said today Efe the specialist in molecular oncology and genomics Horacio Astudillo.
“Health systems globally are already overwhelmed in their traditional care models”, something that forces in a non-exaggerated period of 2 years to make the necessary transition, which would allow, by observing the genetic mutation, increase the accuracy of treatment and life expectancy.
Today is World Cancer Day, a disease that is increasing and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), wipes out the lives of 1.3 million people annually in America alone.
According to Astudillo, “public health systems are working under obsolete hospital models”, since the patient is received when he is “serious, very serious, ill or with symptoms”, something that, given the inevitable increase in life expectancy and the aging of the population, has to change.
“In a conventional model, it may be useful, but in a chronic and degenerative complex disease such as cancer is the least functional and effective model,” he said.
With cancer is different, traditional medicine usually leaves no alternatives other than “a prefabricated guide of medicines that alternate one after another to where the patient endures.”
The increase of more than 15% per year in new cases of cancer makes it necessary to speed up the transition to another model, since this “overflows any budget”.
The molecular genetic diagnosis allows to anticipate the disease, attributed to a genetic load in 20% of all neoplasms.
The aim is to establish a prevention model based on the personalization of the treatments once the DNA analysis has been carried out, which usually takes a maximum of 7 days.
These personalization tests track mutations of certain genes that activate the disease and, if found, use certain biotechnological drugs with a high specificity to improve the fight against cancer as much as possible.
“There is a genetic alteration in one of these genes that makes it automatic a cancer-controlling gene for the patient.” Thus, it is possible to decide “the precise medication for that type of genetic alteration that it carries”, detailed the specialist.
Astudillo, co-founder of Nano Pharmacia Diagnóstica, a leading company in Latin America in the molecular diagnosis of cancer, warned that special attention should be paid to metabolic alterations, since they are a first step in the development of malignant tumors.
“It is clear that the metabolic system of patients is the base of the pyramid for the onset of the disease,” he said.
These metabolic disorders, with diabetes at the head, “facilitate immunosuppression, promote changes in lifestyle that are cancer promoters, in addition to promoting infections that did not occur as commonly and that we know today are drivers of cancer,” he explained.
Metabolic health, he said, is a concept that must be of general knowledge in order to prevent harmful attitudes to health.
He also stressed that as important as biological health is social health, build “a healthier lifestyle, with fewer hours of work and better nutrition.”