WHY A SUPERIOR DATABASE MEANS GREATER PREDICTIVE ACCURACY
A physician once asked us, “Couldn't you just test a higher concentration of a drug in the laboratory and kill all of the cancer cells?” It isn't a bad question, really, but it overlooks an important principle. The testing process doesn't end when we measure the extent of cell killing achieved by each drug. In fact, in many ways, this is where the most important part of the testing process really begins.
No matter what test or tests are performed on your tumor cells, your test result is not really meaningful until it is compared to a standard of some sort. To say merely that a drug has killed a certain percentage of tumor cells in a sample is not nearly enough. You need to know if the drug was more efective at killing your cancer cells than it was for other patients or less effective. You also need to know precisely how much more or less effective the drug was for you. The way we determine that is by comparing your test result for each drug with test results from hundreds to thousands of other patients whose clinical situations and testing conditions were very closely similar to yours. Obviously, the more closely we can match your highly specific factors to those of other patients, the more meaningful your test results will be.
Other Functional Tumor Cell Profiling laboratories typically match only one or two quantitative and/or qualitative parameters for each tumor specimen tested. However, for two decades, Dr. Weisenthal has obtained and recorded at least 10 - and sometimes more - separate matching parameters for each specimen received by his laboratory. These parameters relate to cancer type, patients' prior treatments, specific characteristics of control cells upon receipt, in process, and after culture, as well as several other distinct considerations. This means that for each specimen received, data already exist pertaining to hundreds or thousands of other specimens with closely matching properties. No other lab performs this critical data matching in so detailed a manner. However, we believe that this method results in greater predictive accuracy for you and your physician.