December 8, 2011

My Health Chat to focus on cancer

My Health Chat to focus on cancer

For decades, cancers have been treated based on how they look under a microscope.

Now, researchers know that specific abnormalities in the DNA of tumor cells can make each person’s cancer respond differently to treatment — knowledge that offers an exciting new avenue for tailored therapy.

Personalizing cancer treatment for an individual patient based on his or her cancer cells’ genetic make-up will be the topic of the next My Health Chat at Vanderbilt on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 1:30-2 p.m.

Hosted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, this series of 30-minute interactive chats offer the public an opportunity to engage directly with scientists and physicians on the front lines of advances in medical research.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center members William Pao, M.D., Ph.D., and Mia Levy, M.D., Ph.D., will join moderator Jim Jirjis, M.D., Vanderbilt’s chief medical information officer, to discuss what’s available in genomic medicine for cancer today, and the promise that this approach holds for the future.

Pao is director of the Personalized Cancer Medicine Initiative at Vanderbilt and a specialist in lung cancer research and treatment. Levy, who treats patients with breast cancer, is the cancer clinical informatics officer.

To register for the live chat, visit

You may submit your questions about personalized medicine and other advances in cancer treatment on Vanderbilt Health’s Facebook page, by sending them via Twitter to @VUMCHealth or submitting them by email to