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Precision Medicine

Precision Medicine Defines a Custom Approach to Care

Precision medicine, also called personalized medicine, is an approach to treating cancer that is customized to each individual patient. More than just treating the disease, precision medicine at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center includes:

  • Cancer screening and prevention tips based on individual cancer risks
  • Treatment that combines the most successful therapies with the least impact of side effects
  • Predicting whether your cancer will return and having a plan, if it does

DNA strand

Impact of DNA on Precision Medicine

Precision medicine is impacted by DNA molecules, gene sequences and unique genetic history. Cancer is the result of a genetic malfunction that causes cells to develop out of control, creating tumors. Understanding a person’s complete set of DNA, also called the genome, is a major part of precision medicine. The more researchers know about genetic sequencing and DNA analysis of cancer tumors, the more specialized treatment options may be available, especially if a person’s cancer stops responding to standard treatment.

To develop individually-tailored treatment plans, doctors must understand many aspects of a patient’s health, including:

  • Genetic makeup
  • Environmental factors
  • Lifestyle choices

The Future of Precision Medicine

With a rich history of discovery, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center was one of the earliest cancer centers to research the sequencing of tumors, now widely accepted as basket trials. The future of precision medicine goes beyond today’s standard treatment protocols that treat a cancer based on its origin - such as prostate or breast cancer. Instead, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center are working to better understand how cancer cells behave, in all microenvironments, so they can target specific genes or proteins that lead to cancer growth or survival. With a better understanding of the microenvironments – assessing cancer cells in the primary location as well as where those cells move, will better define opportunities to improve outcomes.

Precision Medicine News at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Find more information about current precision medicine research projects through recent news releases:

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