New Book Highlights Customized Cancer Treatments

In his latest book Customized Cancer Treatment, Ralph W. Moss, PhD, discusses laboratory tests that can save cancer patients’ lives. Dr. Moss, who previously penned Cancer Therapy, Herbs Against Cancer, Questioning Chemotherapy and The Cancer Industry, takes another look at what’s working (and what isn’t) with today’s treatments.

One of my patients who had the opportunity to read the book says, “I just read Customized Cancer Treatment and found it breathtaking. This book should be required reading for everyone.” Before deciding what treatment is best for you, know your options.

Customized Cancer Treatment will be available in late November. However, if you’d like an advance copy, you can contact my office at 562.989.6455 for more information.

Customized Cancer Treatment Book Cover - Ralph Moss

About Dr. Robert A. Nagourney
Dr. Nagourney received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Boston University and his doctor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, where he was a University Scholar. After a residency in internal medicine at the University of California, Irvine, he went on to complete fellowship training in medical oncology at Georgetown University, as well as in hematology at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla. During his fellowship at Georgetown University, Dr. Nagourney confronted aggressive malignancies for which the standard therapies remained mostly ineffective. No matter what he did, all of his patients died. While he found this “standard of care” to be unacceptable, it inspired him to return to the laboratory where he eventually developed “personalized cancer therapy.” In 1986, Dr. Nagourney, along with colleague Larry Weisenthal, MD, PhD, received a Phase I grant from a federally funded program and launched Oncotech, Inc. They began conducting experiments to prove that human tumors resistant to chemotherapeutics could be re-sensitized by pre-incubation with calcium channel blockers, glutathione depletors and protein kinase C inhibitors. The original research was a success. Oncotech grew with financial backing from investors who ultimately changed the direction of the company’s research. The changes proved untenable to Dr. Nagourney and in 1991, he left the company he co-founded. He then returned to the laboratory, and developed the Ex-vivo Analysis - Programmed Cell Death ® (EVA-PCD) test to identify the treatments that would induce programmed cell death, or “apoptosis.” He soon took a position as Director of Experimental Therapeutics at the Cancer Institute of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. His primary research project during this time was chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He remained in this position until the basic research program funding was cut, at which time he founded Rational Therapeutics in 1995. It is here where the EVA-PCD test is used to identity the drug, combinations of drugs or targeted therapies that will kill a patient's tumor - thus providing patients with truly personalized cancer treatment plans. With the desire to change how cancer care is delivered, he became Medical Director of the Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial in 2003. In 2008, he returned to Rational Therapeutics full time to rededicate his time and expertise to expand the research opportunities available through the laboratory. He is a frequently invited lecturer for numerous professional organizations and universities, and has served as a reviewer and on the editorial boards of several journals including Clinical Cancer Research, British Journal of Cancer, Gynecologic Oncology, Cancer Research and the Journal of Medicinal Food.

2 Responses to New Book Highlights Customized Cancer Treatments

  1. Barbara says:

    I first learned of chemosensitivity testing from one of the e-books on cancer Ralph Moss has written, which is available as a download through his website. It got a mention along with dozens and dozens of other treatments. Some seemed plausible; some seemed dubious, and many required traveling to Germany. It’s wonderful that he is now devoting an entire book to just the subject of chemosensitivity testing alone. This test should be made available to every cancer patient. Of all the tests and treatments out there, this is the best shot a cancer patient has for identifying the treatment that will actually work.

  2. Gregory D. Pawelski says:

    Ralph Moss has done an eloquent job of putting together in one book just about all of the research I’ve ever read over the last decade about cell culture assays. It’s a shame he wasn’t able to write more about the major differences between functional profiling and molecular profiling in light of the recent findings about the limitations of genetic testing, gene-guided chemotherapy research being questioned, and gene-expression signatures not ready for prime-time.

    What research scientists in universities and cancer centers have been doing for the past ten years is to try and figure out a way to use molecular testing technology to look for patterns of gene expression which correlate with and predict for the activity of anticancer drugs. Molecular profiling has been a major bust by whatever standard you choose to apply.

    Objectively, if you compare and contrast the peer-reviewed medical literature supporting the use of functional profiling for personalizing drug selection versus the corresponding literature supporting molecular profiling, the literature supporting functional profiling wins. Examining a patient’s DNA can give physicians a lot of information, but as the NCI has concluded, it cannot determine treatment plans for patients. For truly personalized cancer care, patients can rely on functional profiling assays.

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