After spending more than a decade researching breast cancer and developing new technology, scientists at George Mason University's Prince William County campus are trying to fine-tune a method to customize breast cancer treatments for each individual patient.
The research focuses on using technology to identify the specific protein pathways that are active inside each metastatic breast cancer tumor so that doctors can identify the appropriate FDA-approved medication to treat the patient, the Washington Post reports.
With assistance from grant money, researchers launched a clinical trial last week to test their new approach.
"This breast cancer trial is the first of its kind and probably the most cutting-edge clinical trial right now in the U.S., perhaps the world, in terms of breast cancer," Emanuel Petricoin, one of the lead GMU researchers, told the news source.
He added, "Five to 10 years ago, we viewed all breast cancer as the same, but the truth is most patients' [tumors] are not alike."
The research is partially funded by The Side-Out Foundation, an organization launched in 2004 to raise money to fight breast cancer by holding volleyball games nationwide. In 2009, the group sought to raise more than $1 million for cancer research.