Thursday, November 16, 2017

Personalized Cancer Care: Gaining Advantage Against Cancer


I still remember the day when my mom complained of pain in her abdomen. I convinced her that we should consult a doctor. I suspected something was seriously wrong. She had Stage 2B breast cancer and was declared "cancer-free" after undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. Eight years later, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer.


When I asked my mom's oncologist what happened considering my mom was regularly monitored, she explained that while a cancer patient is in remission, the cancer will stay in other organs (organ depositor) like the liver, lungs, brain, or bones and stays dormant. Remission means a diminution of the seriousness or intensity of disease or pain; a temporary recovery.

According to Dr. Ioannis Papasotiriou, remission and cancer-free are two different things. It is not easy to put the label cancer-free to patients and more often than not, the term "cancer-free" is carelessly being used.


A cancer diagnosis is the most frightening news you'd hear from your doctor. While some will exhaust all means to win the battle against cancer, there are those who will fall into the pit of depression. 

What if it's possible to detect cancer in it's earlier stage and there's a better chance of managing the disease? 

There are cases where the treatment is nearly as bad as the disease itself. 

What if you can identify which therapy will deliver the best possible result through a more precise, more individualized management plan?

"There's no one-size-fits-all method to cancer 
diagnosis and treatment."


Each cancer is as unique as the person suffering from it. The Research Genetic Cancer Center (RGCC) is a world-class laboratory that specializes in medical and cancer genetics. It focuses on early detection, personalized chemosensitivity testing, and accurate monitoring. They believe that the only way for doctors to come up with an effective battle plan is to be fully knowledgeable of the cancer, at genetic level.


At RGCC, the first step in cancer therapy is isolating and indentifying Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs). CTCs are cells that have broken away from a primary cancer site and entered the blood stream. 

Oncocount is RGCC's screening test that gives information on the presence and concentration of CTCs. These cells could potentially spread the disease even to distant organs.

Oncotrace shows the presence of CTCs, their concentration, and immunophenotype (what type of cell it is).

Oncotrail is the test tailor-made for specific types of cancers used for follow up control on old cancers. 

With the information that these tests provide, new cancers are detected and diagnosed; existing cancers are monitored; and information about the possible risk of recurrence of a current or previous cancer is provided.

Once the cancer cells have been identified and targeted, the next step is the test for chemosensitivity or chemoresistance. These tests provide guidance in deciding on the best available treatment for the patient. These tests take out the trial and error aspect in cancer treatment because the effectivity of a specific treatment is already determined. Also, the significant side effects are also known before embarking on a chemotherapy program.

Onconomics gives information on whether or not a specific drug works on the cancer cells of the patient. Oncomomics Extracts, in the meantime, shows if natural biological substances or extracts can counter cancer cells. This gives the patient the option of using natural substances as a complementary treatment strategy. Onconomics Plus is a combination of the two tests.


Emphirical chemotherapy may have a low percentage of efficacy because each person’s response to drugs can be different. Every person has a unique genetic response to cancer, depending on their genetic fingerprint. 

There are the Rapid Metabolizers, whose cells can process the drug so fast that it doesn’t have an effect on them; Accumulators, on the other hand, cannot take out the by-products of a drug so they often suffer from debilitating side effects and toxicities; and there are the Normal Metabolizers, who can normally process a drug to its active form and releases its byproducts. 

ChemoSNiP examines the inherited variations in genes that dictate drug response and explore the ways these variations can be used to predict how the patient will respond- positive, negative or non-response- to the drug. 

Meanwhile, the Immune-Frame looks for the type of cells that are responsible for the activation or repression of one’s immune system. Cells of the primary tumor may have the ability to spread to other organs. To help doctors and patients in proactive monitoring of the metastases trends, Metastat can help identify the potential organ that can be affected in the future, like the lungs, bone, liver, and brain.


The main goal of RGCC Genetic Cancer tests is to discover, analyze, and screen the cancer cells at every stage of the disease to give the patient an advantage against the fight against cancer. 

With the information from the tests, patients and their doctors are better equipped in creating a precise, effective and sustainable health management plan. Meanwhile, health and wellness facilities focused on creating health can work with the patient and physician in developing a health plan that would keep the rest of the body strong and healthy, through diet and lifestyle modification, to help prevent the spread of the cancer. The attending physician or oncologist can focus more on the cancer treatment and management plan.

The RGCC Genetic Cancer tests are made available and accessible by Global Medical Technologies (GMT). GMT has been at the forefront of making some of the most up-to-date and relevant medical technologies and diagnostics from developed countries accessible to Filipino medical practitioners and patients, and help them outsmart health issues. 

The RGCC tests can be requested through your Physician. It is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Global Medical Technologies, for more information, patients and health practitioners may visit www.gmtmanila.com.

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