What’s New in Cancer Research
By: Sandy K. Johnson

What’s “N-of-One”? Dr. Robert Diasio, director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, described a new pathway in cancer research dubbed the “N-of-One.”

“Each patient’s genome is a little different than the other patients,” Diasio said. “As we learn more and more from genomics, the profile of the individual patient becomes more and more important.  Each genome provides guidance for what we should do for an individual patient.”

Diasio was the leadoff speaker at the National Press Foundation cancer training for journalists. He talked about clinical trials in cancer as the area where major advances are made. And he cautioned people against genetic coding sites like 23andMe, which has been banned by the FDA.

“Just because you have the sequence doesn’t mean you know what to do with it. It’s false hope and it’s false advertising to suggest to patients that by obtaining their genome…that information can be used usefully at this point in time. It can’t,” Diasio said.