Search Magazine August 24, 2016

Ed Liu talks nerdy with The Huffington Post about cancer

Does the cure for cancer lie within our own genes?

Although cancer is one of the most formidable diseases today’s doctors face, slow and steady may win the race. The Huffington Post talked nerdywith Jackson Laboratory President and CEO Edison Liu, M.D., about the advantages of precision medicine in ‘curing’ cancer, bit by bit, by leveraging the power of genomics.

While genetics focuses on genes that code for specific traits, genomics reaches slightly past it. Understanding the individual genome of each cancer patient allows doctors to tailor treatments to the specific mutation of the disease, in whatever way it manifests itself in each unique patient.

This process certainly isn’t as easy as the long sought-after, utterly unrealistic ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, but small advances in such tailored medicine are providing doctors with a growing arsenal of cancer treatments that may one day expand to encompass most of cancer’s known mutations.

Liu is hopeful that this new, specific approach to aiding those who ail from cancer will pay off in the long run.

“This complete microscopic understanding,” he said, “is what’s going to give us the macro-understanding of this difficult disease.”