Center for Personalized Diagnostics

Get an inside look at genomic cancer testing at our Center for Personalized Diagnostics.

The Center for Personalized Diagnostics (CPD) is a joint initiative between Penn Medicine's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center to support precision medicine at Penn.

Over 50 years ago, the Philadelphia chromosome provided the first evidence that genetic abnormalities were linked to cancer. Now, the Center for Personalized Diagnostics builds on this legacy and aims to identify genetic mutations within a patient's own cancer so that a more targeted and personalized "precision" treatment strategy can be utilized.

How Does Precision Medicine Work?

At the Center for Personalized Diagnostics, we recognize that every cancer is unique-right down to the level of your individual DNA.

Cancer derives its power to grow from the information contained in your cells' individual genetic sequences and any abnormalities that may occur there. These abnormalities at the DNA level instruct the cells to behave differently than normal, healthy cells, causing tumors to grow and thrive.

By obtaining a genetic profile of a group of cancer cells, the exact abnormalities that are driving a person’s individual cancer can be identified. This information allows pathologists, scientists, and oncologists to better understand how the cancer will react to different treatments and design treatment that is personalized.

Advantages include:

  • Precision diagnostics can identify patients who might benefit from current, often cutting-edge therapies, while sparing those who do not have a particular genetic signature from the costs and side effects of certain treatments.
  • Precision medicine can significantly reduce the time conventional diagnostic approaches require, allowing patients and their loved ones to make informed decisions - when time matters most.

For Physicians and Researchers

The Center for Personalized Diagnostics offers physicians the highest volume of genome testing in the region, with more than 4,000 clinical and research samples to date. More research means stronger, actionable results for your patients.

Genomic sequencing reports provided by the CPD are specifically geared toward actionable knowledge for clinicians. The reports focus on normal or abnormal gene information and provide interpretation, comments, and references for disease-associated mutations or variants of uncertain significance.