What is Precision Medicine?

Precision Medicine refers to a personalized approach to caring for patients that takes into account an individual’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

The mapping of the human genome in 2003 armed researchers and physicians with knowledge of the sequences of our DNA and how changes in our DNA – or mutations - cause disease. This knowledge is transforming the way physicians think about and treat many diseases, especially cancer.

Precision Medicine and Cancer

Cancers have commonly been treated with chemotherapy generally selected based on the organ location of the tumor - breast, lung, colon, and so on. Applying a precision medicine approach to cancer involves the use of novel genomic technologies, such as tumor profiling, to identify genetic mutations – changes in the DNA sequence of a gene – as well as changes in RNA, protein expressions, and the immune system that are driving an individual’s tumor. Oncologists can use this information to select targeted or precise therapies that will be most effective in attacking the genetic mutations that are causing the cancer while minimizing unwanted side effects. Instead of a one size fits all approach, precision medicine aims to treat each patient individually based on the unique characteristics of his or her tumor.

While most genetic mutations occur sporadically, some individuals are at increased risk of developing certain cancers due to inherited genetic mutations. These are called hereditary or germline mutations. Risk assessment counseling can help individuals with a family or personal history of cancer determine if genetic testing is needed to understand if they are predisposed to certain cancers. For those who test positive for one or more hereditary mutations, close surveillance or a preventative operation or medicine to reduce the risk of developing cancer may be recommended.

Precision medicine remains a new field and while research and discovery are ongoing, many patients are already benefiting from this new approach.

Hoag Precision Medicine Program

Hoag’s Precision Medicine Program was launched in 2016 to bring the latest advances in genomic technologies, targeted therapies and research to patients. The program currently focuses on applying precision medicine to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer.

Learn More About Hoag’s Precision Medicine Program:

Tumor Profiling

High Risk Patients



Precision Medicine at Hoag

Hoag Family Cancer Institute continually works to provide the very best care for our patients. Hoag's Precision Medicine Program and its team of highly-regarded industry experts are a testament to that. No other hospital in Orange County provides this level of personalized cancer care.

Hoag's Precision Medicine team is here to support our oncology physicians and partners. If you are interested in precision medicine, we encourage you to speak with your physician. If deemed appropriate, your oncologist, or referring physician, will work directly with Hoag's Precision Medicine team to review your case and discuss next steps.