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Precision Medicine is Changing the Way Lung Cancer is Treated at Hoag

Killing cancer with chemotherapy is a rapidly changing treatment.

Today, advances in chemotherapy are allowing oncologists to target cancer without weakening the rest of the body. Patients feel better during treatment, they often don’t experience hair loss and they don’t suffer as much damage to their immune systems.

Using genomic profiling, or precision medicine, Hoag is able to provide further targeted approaches to cancer care.

Hoag Family Cancer Institute is applying precision medicine to the fight against lung cancer, testing lung tumors through the nationally recognized Caris Life Sciences laboratory to determine the most effective treatment option for each individual patient - made possible due to generous donor support.

Precision medicine works by honing in on the precise molecular mutations that create cancerous tumors. All tumors have molecular mutations in their DNA. By testing the molecular profile of the tumor cells, doctors can discover what mutations a particular tumor has and tailor a treatment specifically to that mutation.

“Previously, patients who wanted access to precision medicine in lung cancer had to go to big academic centers. Now, it is available in their own backyard,” said Daryl Pearlstein, M.D., program director of lung cancer at Hoag. “As the leading lung cancer center in the county, Hoag is piloting the precision medicine program for lung cancer patients, with plans to expand it to more areas of cancer treatment.”

Each year, between 200 and 300 lung cancer patients are diagnosed and treated at Hoag. Through this pilot program, all of them will receive a lung tumor biopsy that will help direct their course of treatment.

As a member of the Caris Centers of Excellence for Precision Medicine Network, Hoag is able to compare tumor cell data with leading cancer centers at major academic research facilities across the United States, giving our patients access to the most advanced clinical trials and treatment options available today.

This means that patients will know exactly what is causing their tumor and will have access to the precise treatment to fight it – even if that treatment is still being developed.

These newer medications can make a powerful difference in our patients’ lives and they will no longer have to travel far and wide to get the most state-of-the-art lung cancer care available.

“Hoag has always been looked upon as a leader in the community and by providing molecular profiling, we are elevating our level of care even higher, putting Hoag on equal footing with the best academic centers in the country,” said Dr. Pearlstein.

For more information, call 888-551-9927.