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Eur J Cancer. 2002 May;38(7):872-9.

Cancer genetics and their application to individualised medicine.

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Department of Surgery, K6R, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


One of the great challenges of basic research is to translate scientific discoveries into the improved treatment of patients. For colorectal cancer, our increased understanding of the molecular aetiology of the disease has not yet been paralleled by an improvement in patient care. However, several new approaches are on the verge of clinical implementation. Technical advances such as real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and microarray techniques coupled to insight in the molecular pathways in colorectal cancer makes it possible to develop new clinical tools for the diagnosis, classification and treatment of patients. The ultimate goal of the incorporation of cancer genetics into the clinical treatment of patients is individualised medicine; therapeutic strategies based on the molecular taxonomy of tumours and individually constructed for each patient.

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