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Precision medicine represents a shift in the way we treat cancer. Previously, all people with a certain cancer diagnosis (for example, breast cancer) would receive the same cancer drug (chemotherapy). These drugs slow or stop cancer cells from growing.
With targeted therapy, we use cancer drugs to prevent molecules within the cancer cells from growing. Using precision medicine, we pinpoint the abnormalities (mutations) within the molecules that are unique to your genes so we can give you the cancer drugs that are best for your needs.
Precision medicine at Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute
Precision medicine is part of our commitment to helping you get more of the cancer care you need close to home. If standard treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy aren’t successful, precision medicine gives you an additional option for becoming cancer-free. We offer all the services you need, including:
Expert cancer care
Many of our cancer doctors (oncologists) completed additional training through fellowships, allowing us to deliver focused care that meets your needs. Our doctors have deep experience with precision medicine, which helps you receive exceptional care. Meet our cancer team.
Access to clinical trials
Your precision medicine care plan may include cancer drugs that are only available through clinical trials. Our participation in national clinical trials gives you access to these promising new interventions. Get more information about cancer research and clinical trials.
Pharmacists specializing in cancer drugs are on-site at every Cancer Institute location. These experts help you have a safe precision medicine experience by double-checking the cancer drugs you receive before each treatment. Pharmacists also monitor your care to protect you from complications. Read more about cancer pharmacy services.
More information about genetic testing and precision medicine
Every cell in your body contains roughly 20,000 genes. Nearly all cancers come from abnormal changes (mutations) in about 500 of these genes. Even more, the molecular roots of these mutations differ from person to person. Precision medicine makes it possible to zero in on these mutations and connect you with the care options that best treat them.
We take a sample of your cancer cells and examine them with an advanced form of genetic testing known as molecular profiling. Using special technology, we pinpoint the mutations in your genes that are responsible for the cancer. Our experience from a high volume of molecular profiling leads to accurate results, so you get the best care right from the start. Read more about cancer genetic testing.
Precision medicine treatment options
Once we complete molecular profiling, we recommend the cancer drugs that best meet your unique needs. Your care may include:
- Chemotherapy using current cancer drugs
- Off-label cancer drugs, which means you receive drugs that might typically be used on a diagnosis that’s different from yours
- New cancer drugs through clinical trials
- Targeted therapies, which use cancer drugs to interfere with cancer molecules, so they stop growing