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I already have a diagnosis for a specific type of cancer. How is genetic information going to help?

As patients, we often think about cancer based on the organ where the cancer started: breast cancer, for example. But for cancer doctors (oncologists), cancer is much more complex than that. That’s partly because advances in genomics in the last 20 years have allowed researchers and doctors to discover genetic variations in tumors, and there are many, many variations that can occur. In fact, you could say that the genomic “fingerprint” of cancer tumors is unique to each patient, just the way your fingerprints are unique to you.


Using genetics to take a closer look at cancer has helped us have a better understanding of the disease and how to treat it. In order to target these genomic variations, specialized drugs have been developed. A cancer treatment regimen may consist of several drugs specific to the type of cancer you have—and that means not only where it started, but how much it has developed, and what type of genetic variations it has.

Has personalized medicine been proven to work?

Yes. In a meta-analysis of approximately 85,000 participants in Phase 1, 2, and 3 trials, biomarker selection—that is, using information specific to an individual tumor to decide on treatment—was the single most significant piece of information that led to improvements in health.[1] Because of this, it is important that you have a genetic analysis of your tumor as part of your diagnosis. It is also important that this full diagnosis is used in determining your treatment course.


[1] Subbiah V, Kurzrock, R. Challenging standard-of-care paradigms in the precision oncology era. Trends in Cancer. 2018;4(2),101-109.

What is the difference between combination therapy, immunotherapy, and gene-based therapy?

You may hear these terms being used when discussing personalized medicine with your doctor or in patient support groups. Understanding that your cancer is unique to you will help you better understand the treatment your doctor has prescribed, and also to understand why other patients whose cancer is in the same location as yours are on different treatment regimens.


  • Combination therapy is the use of two or more drugs to treat a disease. A cancer treatment regimen may consist of several drugs specifically targeted to the type of cancer you have.
  • Immunotherapy is the use of drugs that engage your body’s immune system to recognize and fight cancer cells.
  • Gene-based therapy uses genes to treat cancer by giving the cancer cells different genetic instructions.


“The Matched Drug for the Individual Patient at the Right Time”

This is the mantra of personalized medicine. As most patients know, cancer tumors grow with time. In addition, tumor complexity increases with time. This means that a patient’s cancer may respond differently to the same drug at different times during disease progression. This is another reason to ask for a genomic diagnosis.

oncologist and patient


It could take days for your oncologist to sort through hundreds of combinations of FDA-approved drugs and select the combination most likely to provide the best outcome based on your genomic test results. CureMatch provides a clear report of ranked combination drug therapies targeting your cancer at the genomic level, regardless of where the cancer started in your body. This report is designed to provide the concise, actionable knowledge and insights your oncologist or care team needs to make the most appropriate decisions for your upcoming cancer drug treatment.


A core principle behind the CureMatch® technology is that there is clinical proof for using genomic information in order to determine the best course of treatment for many types of cancers.[2] This proof was presented in a major cancer journal and has been recognized by the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the leading national oncology organization, as a major achievement in cancer research in 2017. The study was co-authored by CureMatch co-founder and chief medical advisor Dr. Razelle Kurzrock.


[2] Wheler JJ, Janku F, Naing A, et al. Cancer therapy directed by comprehensive genomic profiling: a single center study. Cancer Research. 2016;76(13),3690-701.