Functional precision cancer medicine—moving beyond pure genomics

Nature Medicine
September 2017, Volume 23 No 9 pp1005-1111

Functional precision cancer medicine—moving beyond pure genomics
pp1028 – 1035
Anthony Letai
The essential job of precision medicine is to match the right drugs to the right patients. In cancer, precision medicine has been nearly synonymous with genomics. However, sobering recent studies have generally shown that most patients with cancer who receive genomic testing do not benefit from a genomic precision medicine strategy. Although some call the entire project of precision cancer medicine into question, I suggest instead that the tools employed must be broadened. Instead of relying exclusively on big data measurements of initial conditions, we should also acquire highly actionable functional information by perturbing—for example, with cancer therapies—viable primary tumor cells from patients with cancer.