Center for Precision Medicine

Advances in genomics are transforming the fight against cancer. Understanding the genetic profile of a tumor can help doctors personalize treatment by utilizing therapies that are either Food and Drug Administration-approved or available via a clinical trial. Meanwhile, testing for inherited factors that increase cancer risk can help family members take steps for early detection and prevention.

At City of Hope’s Center for Precision Medicine, our vision is to harness genomic insights, clinical expertise and advanced analytics to pioneer personalized treatment and prevention, improving quality of life for our patients and their families.

Our work is ultimately based in City of Hope’s ethos of compassionate, patient-centered care. By unlocking the genomic mysteries of cancer, we want to bring the best treatment or prevention plan to each individual. Instead of narrowly addressing one illness or one genetic variant, we treat the whole person.

Highlights

  • City of Hope is committed to providing genomic testing to every one of our patients.
  • All patients will have the opportunity to be tested for genetic susceptibility to cancer and if results confirm risk, the patient’s family members can be tested.
  • The Center for Precision Medicine deploys the best-in-class genomics test — the GEM ExTra test — to profile each tumor and determine optimal treatment.
  • Our precision medicine approach will span the entire City of Hope enterprise, at the Duarte campus as well as throughout our clinical network around Southern California.

A Pioneering Team

The multidisciplinary collaboration that drives the Center for Precision Medicine includes experts in medical oncology, genetics, genetic counseling, epidemiology, gastroenterology, surgery and other specialty services. We are dedicated to advancing the state of the art in precision oncology, and translating the latest knowledge into protocols that improve treatment and prevention. Our evidence-based approach leads to discoveries with real clinical relevance.

How We Make a Difference for Patients

With precision medicine, a patient’s treatment or disease prevention plan is tailored to the specific genomic details of that person’s illness. This information can help to identify the biochemical mechanisms involved in that particular cancer, and the treatment with the greatest likelihood of success against it.

More than that, when a patient is tested for the genes associated with cancer risk, the Center for Precision Medicine also offers testing for markers that indicate risk for other health problems. Our genomic analysis includes the full slate of factors recommended by the American College of Genetics, such as those that make people susceptible to treatable cardiovascular disease — supplying potentially lifesaving information that reaches far beyond cancer care.

How We Make a Difference for Family Members

When a patient is found to carry a gene that increases susceptibility to cancer, such as a BRCA1 mutation, the Center for Precision Medicine also makes genomic testing available to their family members. For those at heightened risk for cancer, there’s the chance to undergo screenings for early detection. Some may even be able to reduce that risk with medications or preventive surgeries.

Other family members may learn that they do not carry a cancer-susceptibility gene. This, too, is a favorable outcome, sparing those at average risk from unnecessary screenings.

Leadership

A world-renowned cancer geneticist, Stephen Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., focuses his research on precision medicine and the genomics of cancer in order to improve treatment and care for cancer patients and their families. His emphasis is bringing clinical cancer genetics and translational research to cancer prevention and clinical care.