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An Ethnography on Personalised Medicine in the Treatment Setting of late-stage Cancer Patients

Fabian-Therond, Clara Felicity; (2024) An Ethnography on Personalised Medicine in the Treatment Setting of late-stage Cancer Patients. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Over the last ten or so years personalised medicine development and delivery in the treatment setting of advanced cancer patients in the UK NHS has gathered pace. This thesis is a comparative exploration into the socio-cultural and ethical implications of these developments. Set in the NHS late-stage treatment setting of ovarian and colorectal cancer patients it has four key aims. One is to examine the way molecular profiling technologies and their associated personalised medicine therapeutics shape lived and subjective experiences of different patients and their health care professionals. A second aim is to understand the way socio-cultural, ethical, political, and economic forces of personalised medicine technologies affect one another, transforming care pathways into complex “emotional rollercoasters.” Building on existing social scientific writing about care and its complexities, it sets out to explore the way ‘care pathways’ across treatment settings are being reconfigured into so much more than objective clinical structures, but rather socio-material sites embodied with hope, possibility, suffering, uncertainty, expectation, as well as new kinds of ethical and moral practice. A third goal is to explore the impact of personalised medicine care on the discourse and practice of hope. Drawing on anthropologies of hope literature it explores hope as an increasingly relational and performative practice and form of care. One which fluctuates according to depths and scales of entanglements between genes, bodies, and technologies, and transforms time into a practice of hope and thus, a technology of care. Finally, the comparative nature of this thesis aims to contribute cultural understanding about unfolding forms of bodily trauma, suffering, and intensities of hope not just between different patients, genes, and technologies but within the body, as patients learn to live with emergent affects and emotions personalised medicine care and its pathway’s produce.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: An Ethnography on Personalised Medicine in the Treatment Setting of late-stage Cancer Patients
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2024. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10185554
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