SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 23, 2008 –
Long has “nature versus nurture” been a convenient catchphrase to describe what determines or causes individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. Now, nature and nurture have both found their way into the world of biotechnology by way of a new procedure that can personalize cancer treatments based on the interaction between the genome and its environment.
Through imaging, Iris Biotechnologies has found a way to interpret genes and their behavior using a new genomics technology called The BioWindows Cancer Analysis and Prevention Project, a very sophisticated artificial intelligence program that analyzes genomic information from nano-biochips.
According to Iris, all complex diseases are the result of gene-environment interaction overtime. Nutrient intake, air quality, lifestyle, surroundings, and genetics all play a key role in determining how each individual body interacts with its environment.
This crucial, personalized information provided by patients and their families is key to enabling new technologies to pinpoint the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. Personalized medicine could mean personalized prevention.
In the past, oncologists have made treatment decisions based solely on broadly defined disease knowledge and personal experience, with little or no insight into the molecular biology of cancer.
The Iris Breast Cancer Chip, however, is a new tool that is used to capture crucial molecular information concerning the activity of more than one hundred genes implicated in the disease from breast biopsy samples. When processed, this information creates an optical pattern that is then analyzed by the company’s proprietary data program - BioWindows.
According to Iris, there are more than thirty chemotherapeutic agents in use today, each with its own response. Through BioWindows Cancer Analysis, optical patterns can classify breast cancer into genetic subtypes, helping physicians to pinpoint the proper treatment for their patient.
“By combining the patient’s cancer gene profile with their environmental, hereditary and lifestyle information, doctors can pinpoint what drugs worked for patients with similar profiles,” explains Simon Chin, chief executive officer of Iris. “The marriage of these two technologies is essential to assist doctors with practical prognosis, disease prevention, and the development of more fully targeted medicine.”
Iris expects to launch their first Nano-Biochip to identify gene expression patterns in breast cancer later this year, but for now, breast cancer patients and their families are welcome to enter information into the database. According to Iris, the online survey is safe and secure, user-friendly, password protected, accessible from anywhere in the world, and can be easily updated whenever necessary.
“Looking at a mirror offers a sense of what you look like on the outside; with the Nano-Biochip and BioWindows technology you have a glimpse of the ‘inner you’ based upon heredity and factors that impact your genes,” says Mr. Chin. “We believe the future of treatment is in personalized medicine, and it all starts with your involvement.”
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