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Precision Cancer Treatment at the Center for Personalized Diagnostics

Medical researcher examines a sample

People with cancer may share a similar diagnosis, but individual tumors can have significant differences. Looking at a tumor’s genetic information can provide a clearer picture of a patient’s unique condition and how to best treat it.

The Penn Center for Personalized Diagnostics, a CAP/CLIA certified clinical laboratory, examines unique genetic mutations within a patient’s cancer. This allows for a more targeted therapy and helps avoid unnecessary treatments, cost and side effects.

DNA Sequencing for Better Outcomes

The process for finding these unique mutations is called DNA sequencing. This is an examination of the genetic information in a sample of human tissue — in this case, a tumor. Since it launched in 2013, the Center for Personalized Diagnostics has sequenced nearly 20,000 samples in patients with a variety of cancer types, including leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, lung, GI and brain cancers.

Once they have the sequence, clinicians use that information to personalize treatments. If necessary, they will re-sequence the tumor over time to see if its genetic profile has changed in response to the treatment. If the tumor has changed, the treatment may need to change as well.

This precision medicine technique not only helps achieve better outcomes but results in findings that can produce even more cutting-edge treatments at Penn Medicine.

Targeted Cancer Therapy at Penn and Beyond

With the highest volume of genome testing in the region, the Center for Personalized Diagnostics is available to physicians both in and outside Penn Medicine. Your care team is welcome to request more information by contacting the Center directly.

About This Blog

The Focus on Cancer blog discusses a variety of cancer-related topics, including treatment advances, research efforts and clinical trials, nutrition, support groups, survivorship and patient stories.

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