A new diagnostic tool called UW-OncoPlex is making a positive difference in the treatments and outcomes of many Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) patients. Developed by researchers at UW Medicine, UW-OncoPlex tests a patient’s tumor tissue for the presence of characteristic genetic abnormalities called driver mutations. Each driver mutation causes tumors to behave differently on the molecular level and, thus, have different vulnerabilities.
The UW-OncoPlex panel tests for most of the driver mutations we’ve identified as having a highly effective treatment currently available for use. If your tumor tests positive for a particular mutation, your doctor will know which treatment will likely be most effective for you.
Getting the right treatment as soon as possible greatly increases the odds of beating cancer. It’s easier to get rid of tumors before they’ve grown, multiplied, or spread to other parts of the body.
It’s also a lot easier on you, the patient. The precision of UW-OncoPlex means that doctors can avoid prescribing treatments that are known not to work on cancers caused by specific mutations. This means saving patients from adverse side effects, as well as cycles of hope followed by disappointment.