For most cancers, advances in genomics haven’t changed treatment strategies very much. Sandeep Dave, MD, MS, envisions making personalized treatment a reality for more patients, by developing and making better use of tools that already exist.
“What’s taking so long?” Sandeep Dave, MD, MS, professor of medicine, was perplexed as he evaluated a patient who had been at Duke University Hospital for nearly a week awaiting test results to confirm a possible lymphoma diagnosis.
That was back in 2012, and the same situation happened far too often. Patients with a suspicion of blood cancers endured seemingly endless testing and agonizing waits to pinpoint an initial diagnosis from the more than 100 different types of blood cancers.
Meanwhile, just a 10-minute walk away, Dave’s genomics research lab routinely conducted research studies in which they could get a readout of a tumor’s complete genomic makeup within a day or two. “It was very frustrating that the technology existed in my lab but could not be immediately applied to patients,” Dave says.
Unfortunately, the situation is still much the same for patients today.