March 18, 2022

Personalised Medicine: A new page in the fight against cancer 

The Solid understanding of cancer biology and new, more effective medication give hope of man’s victory in the war with cancer. Immunotherapy is an effective weapon in that fight. 

Progress in the treatment of all malignancies have changed their natural course and improved the survival of cancer patients. 

We have entered the era of personalized therapy, moving away from classical chemotherapy, which has great toxicity and indiscriminately destroys both healthy and cancer cells. 

With a solid understanding of cancer biology and new, more effective medication that target specific mutations, we have modified the course of the disease to such an extent that even when a cure is not possible, it is a chronic problem, with less loss of life.  

Thus, the treatment chosen for each patient is “cut and sewn” to the measurements of his own tumor. 

Using new molecular techniques, we have the ability to detect mutations in cancer cells that can be targeted by specific medicines. 

Molecular testing can be done on the tumor, but also on a blood sample, looking for cancer cells or fragments of them that have been released from a tumor and are circulating in the blood. 

So far, we have been treating cancers depending on the organ from which the initial lesion originated. 

This basic principle of Oncology has been overturned in recent years, thanks to the molecular investigation of tumors. In other words, we do not treat cancer based on its organ of origin, but we treat the mutation that is responsible for the development of any cancer. 

In recent years, very important steps have been taken at both basic research and clinical level, so that we can better understand the disease and can offer long-term remissions to some patients. 

This has been achieved through the introduction into the daily clinical practice of immunotherapy and targeted therapies administered either alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapy. 

Immunotherapy is a therapeutic approach based on the use of the human immune system itself, which acts as a monitoring network against cancer cells. 

Instead of attacking cancer cells directly, like chemotherapy, which stops cell proliferation, these drugs release the body’s T cells, the “guardians” of the immune system, to fight malignancy. 

At the same time, they “train” the immune system, so that it acquires long-term memory, more than doubling the overall survival compared to conventional chemotherapy. 

In this way, they are very effective, and at the same time, very safe and non-toxic. 

Immunotherapy is generally very well tolerated, with rare serious side effects, which enables its administration even to the elderly or patients with chronic problems. 

Creta Interclinic HHG Oncology Unit, with specialized staff and a high sense of responsibility, treats all forms of cancer holistically and individually, using the latest treatments. 

Georgia Milaki 

Medical Oncologist 

Head of Oncology Unit