What is Personalized Medicine?
Personalized Medicine is a customized approach to cancer care in which treatment is customized for each patient. No two patients are the same. The TriHealth Cancer Institute is expanding accessibility of personalized medicine to our patients by applying the latest in genetic technology to therapy.
What is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that enlists your own immune system to attack cancer cells. One main type of immunotherapy uses monoclonal antibodies, which are designed to attack a specific part of a cancer cell. A second type is called immune checkpoint inhibitors. These stimulate your immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. Immunotherapy is an option for some cancer patients. We weigh the pros and cons of chemotherapy versus immunotherapy and then together with our patients decide on what should work best.
The TriHealth Cancer Institute Approach and Resources
TriHealth Cancer Institute has demonstrated experience in Precision Medicine and is nationally recognized as a leader within the Precision Medicine Alliance. Our precision medicine team includes: Oncology, Genetic Counseling, Pharmacy, Pathology, Nursing with strong administrative support and positive outcomes. The team evaluates new genetic tests, facilitates utilization, and provides education for TriHealth clinicians. The most recent achievement is a Molecular Tumor Board at which patient’s medical, family, genetic and treatment history is discussed by the team to address complex cases and make insightful recommendations.
With the largest Personalized Medicine program for adults in the region, our fellowship-trained physicians work with patients to develop customized treatment plans. Providing cancer care down to the DNA level personalized for each patient is one of the reasons TriHealth earned the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer, becoming part of an elite group – only 14 percent of health systems in the U.S. achieve this accreditation. We offer all the clinical and foundational services needed to support our patients on their personal cancer journey.
This Program Has Three Pillars
- Precision Medicine in cancer treatments…using a personalized genetic fingerprint in tumor to choose the best treatment for each unique cancer. TCI patients already have access to cutting-edge genetic testing in tumors and our medical oncologists use the information to identify optimal treatment or eligibility for a clinical trial. An example: patients with BRCA1/2 mutations in tumor or blood are candidates for a class of chemotherapy called PARP inhibitors.
- Pharmacogenetics: Looking at how genetic markers affect a patient’s response to drugs. This helps clinicians choose the right drug the first time and avoid a dangerous drug response. This goes beyond choosing chemotherapy. Pharmacogenetic results can identify patients who should not use morphine or a specific blood thinner. These results can also predict how a patient might respond to ant-depressant medication and which drug would be the optimal choice.
- Expansion of the TriHealth Good Samaritan Genetics Program: Historically we’ve offered Genetic services in the Prenatal and Cancer areas. With the explosion of clinical genetics, we will be able to expand services to other areas such as Cardiology, Pharmacogenetics or Women’s Health with widespread benefit to patients.
Benefit to Patients
The personalized medicine program allows a wider range of TriHealth physicians to use the power of genetic information in routine medical care. Support gives our clinicians improved ability to predict which treatments will work best for specific patients and which could be ineffective. This saves valuable health care dollars and allows patients to start with the best therapy sooner.