News & Information | START In The News

September 24th, 2010
KSAT 12 News
By: Jennifer Dodd

Genetic Testing Changing Cancer Treatment

In 2004 Barbara Trevett was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer.

Doctors immediately started her on chemotherapy, but it didn't work. The problem was that she had a chemo-resistant type of cancer.

"No matter how much chemo they would give me, they were never going to kill it," Trevett said.

Six years ago, doctors would have had no way of knowing this. But now they do, thanks to genetic testing by doctors at San Antonio's START Center for cancer care.

"We're going to be able to look at tumor cells and look at genes and the chromosomes of the tumor cells and we'll be able to identify sequences of DNA that are over expressed," Dr. Lon Smith said.

The testing allowed doctors to pinpoint the exact gene fueling Trevett's cancer so they could tailor her treatment. Now, after six years, Trevett said she is finally starting to feel better.

"My hair has just started to grow back in. It's pretty cool looking," Trevett said.Smith said while this type of testing is new, they believe it could lead to great things.

"There is the hope that in some cases we'll really be able to cure the disease. The more information we have the better off we'll be," Smith said.

For more information or to request genomic profiling, contact Shelly Gunn at the START Center for Cancer Care at 210-593-2514.

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