Genomic Testing and Targeted Therapy Associated with Increased Life Expectancy at Lower Costs for Patients with Advanced Cancer

In the emerging field of precision medicine, clinical outcomes have been challenging to measure and remain largely unreported.  A new study conducted by Intermountain Precision Genomics revealed that precision medicine treatment can lengthen survival in advanced cancer patients – and do so without increasing costs. 

“These results underscore the value of precision medicine to patients today,” said Lincoln Nadauld, MD, medical director of Intermountain Precision Genomics. “Measurable results are rare for this field, but we can build off of these findings in order to help more patients.  A genomics-based approach appears to be a viable, and perhaps superior, option for patients with advanced or metastatic cancer.”

Results of the study, which were released this month in the Journal of Oncology Practice, found that:

  • Patients who received precision cancer medicine experienced an improved progression-free survival of 22.9 weeks, compared with 12 weeks for patients receiving standard treatments.
  • Survival rates were not associated with increased medical costs:  In an analysis of patients who received all care within the Intermountain Healthcare system, patient charges were actually less in the precision treatment group than the control group.
Seventy-two patients with metastatic cancer of diverse subtypes were treated in the setting of a large, integrated healthcare delivery system between July 1, 2013 and January 31, 2015.  Find the full study, A Retrospective Analysis of Precision Medicine Outcomes in Patients With Advanced Cancer Reveals Improved Progression-Free Survival Without Increased Health Costs.

“As most cancer patients are not treated in research settings but in community hospitals and treatment centers, these results are significant.  Precision cancer therapies can be successful in the community cancer center setting, with measurable patient benefit,” added Dr. Nadauld.

Nearly 80% of the patients treated at Intermountain Precision Genomics have been connected to targeted drug therapies.  Unlike traditional chemotherapy, which focuses on destroying rapidly dividing cells, targeted therapies identify other features that are more specific to cancer cells. These medications work in individual ways, but all interfere with the ability of the cancer cell to grow, divide, repair, and/or communicate with other cells.

Intermountain Precision Genomics is a service of Intermountain Healthcare, which offers genetic sequencing of solid tumors. This in-depth sequencing identifies individual mutations within a person’s cancer cells to identify specific DNA targets for personalized drugs. For more information about Intermountain Precision Genomics visit:

About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 22 hospitals, 185 clinics, a Medical Group with about 1,400 employed physicians and advanced practitioners, a health plans division called SelectHealth, and other medical services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through high quality and sustainable costs.  For more information about Intermountain, visit

Intermountain Precision Genomics study shows precision medicine treatment can lengthen survival in advanced cancer patients without increasing costs.