We Can Now Customize Cancer Cures, Tumor by Tumor

But can any company afford to manufacture one-off medical treatments?

A blood vessel formation providing cancer cells (whose nuclei are shown in blue) with oxygens and nutrients. Illustration: Alfred Pasieka/Science Library/Getty Images

By Adam Piore

The first time someone pitched Genentech’s senior leadership on a personalized cancer vaccine, it did not go well. “I thought there was going to be a riot,” Ira Mellman, then Genentech’s head of research oncology, recalls.

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