IMAGE: Antonio Jimeno, MD, PhD, and University of Colorado Cancer Center colleagues analyze three tumor samples collected over time from a single patient to show how cancer evolves to resist treatment… view more
Credit: University of Colorado Cancer Center
After a biopsy or surgery, doctors often get a molecular snapshot of a patient’s tumor. This snapshot is important – knowing the genetics that cause a cancer can help match a patient with a genetically-targeted treatment. But recent work increasingly shows that tumors are not static – the populations of cells that make up a tumor evolve over time in response to treatment, often in ways that lead to treatment immunity. Instead of being defined by a snapshot, tumors are more like a movie. This means that a tumor that recurs after treatment may be much different than the tumor originally seen in a biopsy.
Which is why, as reported in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, it was very special to collect three tumor samples over the course of three surgeries from a patient with salivary gland cancer.
“People talk about molecular evolution of cancer and we were able to show it in this patient. With these three samples, we
Article originally posted at