Cancer Doctor: Future of Treatment is Personalized Medicine

BY Judy Woodruff  February 15, 2010 at 12:49 PM EST

Dr. John Mendelsohn, president of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, says that when he was born, only a third of cancer patients lived five years or more. Now, two-thirds live that long.

Mendelsohn stopped by the Rundown to talk about the future of cancer prevention and treatment. He says that the biggest research story right now is personalized cancer treatment. Not all lung cancers, breast cancers or other cancers are alike, and new knowledge about the genetics of these cancers will begin to allow doctors to tailor treatments to individual patients.

Mendelsohn also discusses the importance of taking personal responsibility for our health.

“If we all quit smoking, and we all stayed trim and exercised [...] and just did the routine checks we’re told to do,” he says, “we feel we could probably cut cancer deaths by half.”