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Victor Gian, M.D.

In the last decade, the most common cancer types have been lung, breast, colon and prostate. Looking forward to the next couple of years, they will likely remain the same. Notable is multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer, increasing regionally.

Traditionally, chemotherapy and hormone therapy have been the standard approaches taken in the treatment of cancer patients. However, the paradigm is shifting. Impressive discoveries have and will continue to change cancer care for the better.

For instance, molecular profiling and targeting are huge breakthroughs in cancer care. For most cancers, a piece of a malignant tumor can be taken and evaluated for certain mutations through molecular profiling. Once those abnormalities are identified, molecular targeting agents can be prescribed to pinpoint them, blocking their ability to grow and spread and stopping cancer in its tracks. Molecular targeting agents are often times less toxic to patients than traditional therapies. Overall, molecular profiling and targeting are growing substantially in oncology, and they will continue to play a major role advancing cancer care in the future.

Likewise, immunotherapy developments are very promising in cancer care. The ability to harness the immune system to strip cancer’s camouflage and identify it and kill it is an incredible feat. Immunotherapy works very well in patients and is more tolerable than traditional therapies. While the current list of cancers approved to be treated with immunotherapy is small, immunotherapy is a big push in oncology, and more cancers will likely be treatable with it in the near term.

As cancer rates are expected to increase with the aging baby boomer population, efforts to identify, test and release new therapies will intensify. Oncology professionals know more about cancer now than ever before. At Tennessee Oncology, we are very excited about new therapies being studied and released. Better therapies are producing more cancer survivors. We are and remain committed to recognizing, acquiring and utilizing the latest, cutting-edge therapies in the treatment of our patients’ cancers. Caring for cancer patients is a privilege.