Nobody ever wants to hear they are diagnosed with cancer. However, extensive research means more and more types of cancer can be treated than ever before. YNN's Marcie Fraser reports.
"With cancers lately there is a lot of bizarre things happening and a pediatric cancer in a fifty year old woman is bizarre but I ended up with it," said Kathy Griffin, a cancer survivor.
Ten years ago Kathy Griffin won her battle with breast cancer, but now she's faced with another battle.
"It's a very rare cancer ewings sarcoma," noted Griffin.
Once you come to terms that you have cancer, patients remain hopeful it is treatable.
Griffin said, "My sarcoma has a high rate of reoccurrence and I am hoping there is a lot of breakthroughs that come."
Her hope lies in experts like Dr. John Delmonte, a hematologist and a medical oncologist, who works on targeting specific genes in cancer patients. By identifying the gene, the treatment can be tailored precisely for that person.
"So by knowing more about each individual breast cancer and what makes the tumor grow, you can design drugs which target that specific cancer in that individual and maximize efficacy and minimize toxicity," said Dr. Delmonte.
Doctors continue to do research on rare cancers, and also on more common cancers such as breast cancer.
"There is also a new class of drugs called PARP inhibitors, which is used in a certain subset of patients who are triple negative, patients who have BRCHA mutation," explained Delmonte.
Doctors are also looking at different hormone receptors as the first step to treating individual breast cancer patients.
Delmonte said, "We look at estrogen, progesterone receptors, HER2neu, those are the three we routinely test today there are many others tested and also many others that we develop targeted therapy to be tested in patients in clinical trials."