Laura van ‘t Veer is one of the most distinguished and most advanced researchers into the practical treatment of breast cancer.
This means (of course) that she is now engaged in Personalized Medicine. She is working with Stage II patients, and the challenge of Personalized Medicine is first discovering (for every different subtype of tumor) which treatment produces the best response; the second challenge is to get that treatment to as many patients with the same subtype as possible, as quickly as possible.
She and her team have developed an ingenious way to solve both challenges at once, called adaptive randomization. As soon as one patient responds to a given treatment, the next patient of the same subtype automatically gets allocated the same treatment. This is much quicker and more effective than classical trials, because any medicine that gives a promising result immediately gets tested on patients where a good response is most likely, and any patient in the trail gets access to whatever is the most promising medicine for her at that moment. This method avoids the dreaded selection bias which would invalidate the trial.
She tells the story of how she got her fascination for science, and genes in particular: her biology teacher in high school inspired her to follow that path. We all owe him or her a debt of gratitude!
The reason she feels strong resonance with Inspire2Live is the energy and urgency she meets there, through the unique and single focus on the cooperation of patients, researchers and doctors to make things better for the patient.
Laura van ‘t Veer was one of this year’s Hero of Cancer Laureates of Inspire2Live, in recognition of her vast scientific output and her personal closeness to the interest of the patient.
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live