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Advancing Cancer Treatment: Intermountain Leads the Way with Targeted, Personalized Therapies

Advancing Cancer Treatment: Intermountain Leads the Way with Targeted, Personalized Therapies

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What is Precision Genomics?

Precision medicine is a term used to describe medical treatments tailored to an individual patient’s specific disease or condition. Precision genomics is the process during which genetic information about a person’s disease is gathered and analyzed.

As part of Intermountain’s commitment to providing the most advanced cancer care, the oncology team uses a unique test called the ICG100™ to analyze each patient’s cancer. A team of experts called the Molecular Tumor Board meets to discuss the results and determine the most effective course of treatment.

Benefits of Precision Genomics

Precision genomics allows the cancer care team to create a more effective and more personalized cancer treatment plan that can:

  • Prolong life expectancy
  • Deliver targeted therapies that minimize side effects
  • Help patients and families maintain quality of life
  • Help patients and families achieve goals such as enjoying retirement, raising children or continuing to work

Precision genomics also helps physicians deliver more accurate prognoses and gives patients and their families hope. It helps caregivers feel more confident that they are providing the best care options for their loved ones while reducing the risk of hospital stays and emergency room visits due to severe side effects.

Developing Big Data

As the physicians at Intermountain study individual cancer cases, they compile data on each type of cancer and how it responds to different treatment methods. This information helps oncology specialists make the best possible decisions on how to treat future cancer cases and allows them to predict how patients might respond to the selected therapies.

The researchers at Intermountain Precision Genomics, led by Lincoln Nadauld, MD, PhD, Executive Director of Precision Medicine and Precision Genomics , has partnered with various entities to create the Oncology Precision Network (OPeN). OPeN is a data consortium that allows healthcare institutions to share their cancer treatment data. By combining and sharing information, cancer specialists are able to provide more effective treatment across a wider geographic area, access information on rare or unique cancers, and add information to grow the database.

Leading the Way

In addition to its reputation for providing advanced cancer care, Intermountain is also widely known as one of the nation’s leading precision genomics research institutions. Intermountain researchers and physicians conduct a variety of clinical trials and explore how different cancers respond to combinations of targeted treatment and immunotherapy, or treatments that stimulate the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

In recognition of Intermountain’s leadership in precision genomics, Dr. Lincoln Nadauld received an invitation to attend a prestigious precision medicine event held at the White House. Intermountain specialists also participated in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2016 meeting, where precision medicine was the main focus.

According to Dr. Nadauld, precision genomics allows providers to treat their patients while also helping them to live longer and better lives with fewer side effects. With precision genomics, quality of life is as important as life expectancy. For Dr. Nadauld, every one of his patients reminds him of the need for cancer care innovation and motivates him—along with the other researchers and physicians at Intermountain—to constantly advance the field of precision medicine.