Journal of Gastroenterology and Digestive Diseases

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Mini Review - Journal of Gastroenterology and Digestive Diseases (2023) Volume 8, Issue 6

Precision medicine in gastrointestinal cancers: Targeted therapies and personalized approaches.

Hajar Mirzaei*

Department of Medical Biotechnology, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

*Corresponding Author:
Hajar Mirzaei
Department of Medical Biotechnology
Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

Received: 10-Oct-2023, Manuscript No. JGDD-23-120816; Editor assigned: 12-Oct-2023, Pre QC No. JGDD-23-120816 (PQ); Reviewed: 26-Oct-2023, QC No. JGDD-23-120816; Revised: 30-Oct-2023, Manuscript No. JGDD-23-120816 (R); Published: 04- Nov-2023, DOI: 10.35841/ jgdd -8.6.173

Citation: Mirzaei H. Precision medicine in gastrointestinal cancers: Targeted therapies and personalized approaches. J Gastroenterol Dig Dis.2023;8(6):173

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Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers encompass a group of malignancies affecting the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, colon, and rectum. Traditional cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation have been the mainstay for many years. However, the advent of precision medicine has revolutionized the landscape of cancer treatment, offering more tailored and effective approaches. In the realm of GI cancers, precision medicine has emerged as a promising strategy, leveraging targeted therapies and personalized treatment plans [1, 2].

Precision medicine, also known as personalized medicine, is an innovative approach that takes into account individual differences in patients' genes, environments, and lifestyles. This approach aims to tailor medical care to the unique characteristics of each patient, enabling more effective and less toxic treatments. In GI cancers, precision medicine involves identifying specific genetic mutations or alterations driving the cancer's growth and developing therapies that specifically target these abnormalities [3, 4].

Targeted therapies are a cornerstone of precision medicine in GI cancers. Unlike traditional chemotherapy that attacks rapidly dividing cells, targeted therapies focus on specific molecules involved in the growth and survival of cancer cells. By honing in on these molecular targets, these therapies can disrupt the signaling pathways that drive cancer progression. For example, in colorectal cancer, which is one of the most common GI cancers, drugs like cetuximab and panitumumab target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), inhibiting its activity and impeding cancer growth [5, 6].

In hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, sorafenib and lenvatinib are targeted therapies that interfere with the signals that promote blood vessel formation within tumors, thus suppressing tumor growth. The success of these targeted therapies highlights the potential of precision medicine to enhance treatment efficacy while minimizing damage to healthy tissues. Personalized approaches in GI cancers involve tailoring treatment plans based on individual patient characteristics, such as genetic makeup, tumor profiling, and response to previous treatments. The identification of biomarkers, which are specific indicators associated with the presence or progression of cancer, plays a crucial role in guiding personalized treatment decisions [7, 8].

For instance, in pancreatic cancer, which is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, identifying mutations in genes like KRAS and BRCA can help guide treatment decisions. If a patient has a BRCA mutation, they may be eligible for targeted therapies like PARP inhibitors, which have shown promising results in clinical trials. Identifying relevant biomarkers, access to comprehensive genomic testing, and the development of new targeted therapies are ongoing hurdles. Additionally, resistance to targeted therapies can emerge over time, necessitating continuous research to understand the underlying mechanisms and devise strategies to overcome resistance [9, 10].


Precision medicine has ushered in a new era in the treatment of GI cancers, offering hope for more effective and individualized therapeutic strategies. Targeted therapies and personalized approaches based on genomic profiling are transforming the way we approach the management of these complex and heterogeneous diseases. As research progresses and technology continues to advance, the potential for further breakthroughs in precision medicine for GI cancers is immense. The ultimate goal is to improve patient outcomes, enhance the quality of life, and move towards a future where each cancer patient receives treatment uniquely tailored to their specific genetic and molecular profile.


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