Personalised cancer medicine

Future crafting in the genomic era

By Anne Kerr, Choon Key Chekar, Emily Ross, Julia Swallow and Sarah Cunningham-Burley

Personalised cancer medicine


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5653-2
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: February 2021
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography, Medical Sociology, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography, MEDICAL / Oncology, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, Medical Genetics, Sociology
  • Series: Inscriptions


What does it mean to personalise cancer medicine? Drawing on an ethnographic study with cancer patients, carers and practitioners in the UK, this book traces their efforts to access and interpret novel genomic tests, information and treatments as they craft personal and collective futures. Exploring multiple experiences of new diagnostic tests, research programmes and trials, advocacy and experimental therapies, the authors chart the different kinds of care and work involved in efforts to personalise cancer medicine, as well as the ways in which benefits and opportunities are unevenly realised and distributed.

Comparing these experiences with policy and professional accounts of the 'big' future of personalised healthcare, the authors show how hope and care are multi-faceted, contingent and, at times, frustrated in the everyday complexities of living and working with cancer.


Introduction: Exploring personalised cancer medicine
1 Personalising cancer treatment and diagnosis through genomic medicine
2 Genomic techniques in standard care: Gene expression profiling in early stage breast cancer
3 Molecular profiling for advanced gynaecological cancer: prolonging foreshortened futures
4 Optimising personalisation: Adaptive trials for intractable cancers
5 Genomics at Scale: Participation to build the bioeconomy
6 Going Private: Digital culture and personalised medicine
7 At the limits of participation
Conclusion: Future crafting



Anne Kerr (University of Glasgow), Choon Key Chekar (University of Lancaster), Emily Ross (University of Sheffield), Julia Swallow (University of Edinburgh), Sarah Cunningham-Burley (University of Edinburgh).

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