You may already be aware of the differences between targeted cancer treatments and standard cancer treatment choices such as chemotherapy or radiation, however, are you aware as to what factors influence whether or not a patient can benefit from a targeted cancer therapy? Frequently, the outcome of a tumor profiling test will determine the outcome. 

Tumor profiling is a type of cancer diagnostic test that searches for specific DNA alterations in a patient’s tumor and in recent years, major improvements have been achieved in this area of cancer treatment. 

According to a renowned physician who is also a medical oncologist and is also a cancer geneticist, the tests are used to identify genomic pathways that may be fueling the development of a tumor. He further stressed that the objective is to discover alternative targeted therapy compounds that may be effective against the pathways that have been identified. 

What Is the Process of Tumor Profiling? 

Cancer profiling is described as a laboratory examination that examines a sample of tumor tissue for the presence of specific genes or gene mutations or epigenetic alterations, proteins, or even other biomarkers that indicate cancer. Tumor profiling may be utilized to aid in the planning of therapy as well as the prediction of whether cancer will recur or spread to other areas of the body. 

Traditional cancer treatments operate by blocking certain mechanisms in every cell of the body; however, newer cancer treatments such as targeted therapies function in a different way, by addressing the pathways like that of a single gene that is responsible for a tumor’s proliferation. 

Tumor profiling is a technique used by oncologists to assess if the links of a patient’s tumor are compatible with the pathways of current targeted therapies. 

The process of tumor profiling begins with the collection of a specimen of tumor tissue. Core biopsies are often used to get the tissue, although they could also be obtained by surgical procedures. Tumor DNA is isolated from the tumor cells and purified before being submitted to a laboratory once the tissue sample has been acquired. In order to determine if a tumor is sensitive to specific therapies, the DNA is examined or sequenced, and results can be obtained in just as little as two to three weeks. 

Is Tumor Profiling a Good Option for Me? 

Profiling for targeted treatments is utilized increasingly often in the treatment of specific cancer types, particularly lung cancer, colon cancer, sarcoma, as well as melanoma, among others. This is due to the fact that these tumors are frequently associated with genetic alterations that react well to targeted therapies. 

If you already have another form of metastatic cancer that is no longer responding to conventional therapies, you could also be qualified for tumor testing. 

Is there a limit to tumor profiling technology? 

Cancer profiling has the potential to discover hundreds of genes inside a tumor’s DNA, yet targeted treatments for just a limited fraction of those genes have been produced. Furthermore, even if a tumor’s gene matches one that is targeted by a medication, there is no assurance that the tumor would respond to that treatment. 

Moreover, even if it responds, it is possible that the answer is merely transient. Tumors keep growing and alter, and tumor profiles obtained a year apart may provide significantly different results from one another. 

Although it was mentioned that tumor profiling is still restricted in terms of the targets along with the compatibility with therapy, there are already expectations that about one over every ten patients, or even more, will have something that is targetable, and the excellent thing is that those figures are projected to rise in the coming years. 

Right now, tumor profiling, as well as the tailored treatments, are still in their infancy, but both academics and businesses are already strongly driven to create the targeted drugs and are most likely, there will be treatments to be seen of becoming accessible which target a greater number of genes over time.  

Genetic, genomic, and Tumor Profiling Studies Have Essential Roles to Play 

Each cell in the human body has your distinct genes, which are composed of DNA, or your body’s molecular blueprint. Our DNA occasionally changes or mutates, impairing the cell’s regular function.  

As with your genes, you can acquire gene variations from your parents. Understanding our hereditary genetic mutations can help us determine if we are predisposed to particular diseases, like breast cancer. 

There are available videos that explain the distinctions between such a genetic diagnosis, a tumor profiling test, and a genomic test, as well as when to utilize each and while each analysis is unique, they all examine a person’s DNA in order to gain a deeper understanding of his or her distinct genetic composition. 

A genetic test examines blood, saliva, or cheek cells for particular inherited gene mutations associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer or other illnesses. Breast cancer patients might undergo genetic testing to identify if their disease is caused by a hereditary gene mutation. This information can aid in therapy planning. Additionally, it can assist family members in determining their breast cancer risk thus, if you are thinking about getting genetic testing, it is highly recommended that you talk with your genetic counselor first.   

If you are someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and decided to undergo tumor profiling, this process of examination searches for specific alterations in a gene or panel of genes in the breast cancer cells. Doctors use this information to guide treatment decisions and, in certain cases, to forecast whether the disease will spread. 


Lastly, a genomic test will examine the abnormalities all over the DNA in a cell which is not just the single gene or the group of genes that are using blood, saliva, cheek cells, or breast cancer cells. Genomic testing can be performed on normal cells to identify all inherited mutations in a person, or on tumor cells to identify all cancer cell mutations. 

To recap, genetic testing is used to determine whether an individual has inherited certain gene mutations. Tumor profiling assays analyze a tumor cell for particular gene alterations. Additionally, genomic testing can be performed on normal cells to identify all of a person’s hereditary abnormalities or on tumor cells to identify all of cancer’s mutations that is why it is indeed critical to see a physician about these tests and to which, if any, may be appropriate for you.