Craig Thompson, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, gives a brief overview of the most recent facts and statistics about cancer. Until two years ago, smoking was the leading cause of cancer in the United States. This has since been surpassed by obesity and type-2 diabetes. He says that 80 percent of cancers are caused by environmental factors and that based on a lifespan of 90 years, 50 percent of men and 39 percent of women will suffer from cancer at least once in their lives. He says that researchers and physicians are coming more and more to realize that, because each case of cancer is unique, treatment must move towards more personalized methods.
David Solit, Director of the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, speaks about his lab’s efforts to accelerate drug discovery and better personalize cancer treatment. His lab typically identifies targets by looking at mutations or alterations in the tumor compared with normal tissue. They then try to develop drugs that inhibit these targets.
Dr. Solit also describes the Integral Mutation Profiling of Accountable Cancer Targets (IMPACT), a test engineered at MSK. This test allows for the screening of large numbers of patients for hundreds of mutations in hundreds of genes.