Ignyta’s Patient Guide to Precision Medicine

For centuries, the fight against cancer has been driven largely by a one-size-fits-all approach (“kill it all, and hope we get the disease”) or trial-and-error (“find the right combination of magic herbs, and it just might go away on its own”). But cancer treatment is entering a new chapter, with the potential to function the way we expect medicine to work. By identifying and targeting precise molecular causes of cancer, Ignyta is working to create groundbreaking experimental drugs designed to treat cancer without the same side effects that can arise from chemotherapy – stopping cancer in its tracks and getting people back to their lives and their loved ones.

That is the story of precision medicine.

Precision medicine is a targeted treatment, based on your unique cancer and aimed at stopping your disease in its tracks.

Infographic of traditional therapies versus how precision medicine targets specific medicines to specific diseases.
Infographic of traditional therapies versus how precision medicine targets specific medicines to specific diseases.

How Does Precision Medicine Work?

Ignyta’s investigational drugs are designed to precisely target the distinct molecular features of tumor cells. Specifically, entrectinib (currently in Phase-2 clinical trial – learn more at STARTRKtrials.com) targets the NTRK, ROS1, and ALK genes. They are classified as “oncogenes,” meaning that damage to these inherited DNA sequences can occur in healthy cells and cause them to form tumors. Cancer cells then come to depend on the altered genes and their new protein products for survival.

By slowing down the hyperactive proteins made from these oncogenes, the drugs under development at Ignyta strike tumor cells with high specificity. This means that the “off-target” side effects of chemotherapy and radiation are less frequent in the battle against certain cancers.

Infographic showing how fusion of the NTRK gene can lead to the growth of cancer cells
Infographic showing how fusion of the NTRK gene can lead to the growth of cancer cells

Imagine a future where cancer is treated – not with a blunt instrument but with a laser focus, where the drugs available are less prone to making patients with cancer worse before they get better (if they even work at all). That’s the future Ignyta imagines – the story we’re writing every day.

Learn more about our therapies in development and how they work.

How Precision Medicine Treats the Specific Causes of Some Cancers

Gene sequences within our DNA are like instructions for our cells, telling the cells how to form and maintain themselves. One type of cell damage called gene fusion causes cells to reproduce in an uncontrolled way, and we call that cancer. Precision medicines are drugs that are custom-made to target a specific gene fusion that is unique to cancer cells Compared to traditional treatments, precision medicines target tumors while reducing damage to healthy nearby cells.

Ignyta’s Rx/Dx Approach to Precision Medicine Offers:

Ignyta matches diagnostic tests with developmental precision medicines to speed clinical trial enrollment for qualifying patients.
Ignyta offers no-cost diagnostic testing to determine eligibility for an active cancer clinical trial
Compared to traditional medicines, Ignyta's investigational therapies are easier to take and fit into your daily routine

How Do I Know if Precision Medicine Might Help Me?

Ignyta offers a distinctive combination of next-generation genomic analysis and molecular characterization to ensure that our precision medicines are matched with the patients who may be helped most. Rather than sending your information to a third-party lab, we use our in-house molecular diagnostics (DX) capabilities to identify gene fusions that may respond to our investigational therapies. In this way, even patients with very rare cancers could be helped. We put cancer patients first, keeping in mind how complicated life becomes after receiving a cancer diagnosis and helping you take back control of your story, instead of having it written for you.

Read stories of patients who participated in Ignyta clinical trials, and their impressive results.

Find Out If Ignyta’s Targeted Therapies Might Help You or Someone You Love

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, visit our Clinical Trials page for information on Ignyta’s current clinical trials, or visit STARTRKtrials.com to learn more about molecular diagnostic testing and enrollment in Ignyta’s STARTRK-2 cancer clinical trial.

Patient Resources

For more information on cancer treatment for patients and caregivers, including a glossary of terms, patient advocacy organizations and other helpful links, visit Ignyta’s cancer patient resources page.

Patient Stories

At Ignyta, we are humbled by the patients who choose to partner with us in these trials, and we present their stories as a tribute and a promise to keep working, keep fighting, until we reach our goals. Read our patient stories.