Treatments for cancer have improved dramatically over recent decades, yet too many people still succumb to this horrible disease.

One of the major challenges for improving treatment is that every patient’s cancer is different to every other patient’s cancer. Moreover, cancers that return or spread are not exactly the same as the first cancer that was removed by a surgeon.

Cancers change and evolve over time. Patients with “common” cancers benefit from knowledge gained by research into the diagnosis and management of that disease, which helps doctors guide their treatment. But those patients who are unlucky to suffer a “rare” cancer can be confronted with no clear treatment options.

Even people with “common” cancers can be administered “standard” treatments that fail.

Read more in the Newcastle Herald.