Tumor banking is a growing trend. If a person with a tumor undergoes surgery, the live tumor can be banked for future testing. A company called Champions Oncology has pioneered a service whereby they bank and later propagate a patient’s live tumor in immune deficient mice to determine what drugs or combination of drugs may be useful if the cancer ever comes back called Champions TumorGrafting.
Cord blood banking has grown into a big business. The blood from a newborn’s umbilical cord is kept in a bank for an average of $2,200. There may never come a time that a person needs it, but if stem cells are necessary and they are your own, treatment for certain cancers may be enhanced by using cord blood.
The new trend is in the removal of a primary tumor. For $1,500 Champions can implant pieces of the tumor into immune deficient mice creating a “clone” of the patient’s tumor. Once the tumor begins to grow in the mice, a patient has the option to bank the tumor for later use, or proceed directly to the drug testing phase. Many patients tumors will recur, but most patients have only one opportunity to remove a piece of tumor and store it in a way that keeps the tumor “alive” outside of your body for future use. Banking a primary tumor preserves a patient’s options by putting them in a position to do further testing should the need arise.
Dr. David Sidransky, CEO of Champions Oncology and renowned oncologist and research scientist says, “We are making great strides in helping extend the lives of patients using Champions TumorGrafts. Explaining why using a primary tumor would be beneficial, Dr. Sidransky comments, “Primary early cancers are determined to be localized and removal can make the patient cancer free. But it is never 100%. So taking that tumor and banking it as well as propagating it would seem to be a great insurance policy for one’s future health.”
- Submitted by Maryann Palumbo