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Genomics is the study of the all genes in the human body and how they interact with one another. The genome is a person’s complete set of genes, which is coded into their DNA. Because DNA mutations can cause cancer, genomics is useful in cancer research by helping us understand how and why those changes occur.
You can rely on our team of expert oncologists at Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. We are dedicated to providing specialized, world-class cancer care that puts your needs first. If you’re interested in genomic testing in Arizona, Find a Doctor near you today or call 855.666.2839 (8222).
In genomic testing, oncologists compare the patient’s genome with those of previous patients with the same type of cancer. If they see the same mutation occurring in the new patient’s case that they have seen in past cases, the doctor may then be able to use that information to create a new treatment plan. Often this plan will use targeted therapies, which work by interfering with the progression of cancer cell growth. Genomic testing isn’t appropriate for all cancer patients. Typically, it is used in cases where cancer has not responded to treatment, or in cases of rare cancer types.
Genomic testing requires a biopsy. The biopsy may happen at a doctor’s office, specialty clinic, or hospital, depending on the cancer type and the difficulty of the biopsy. The tissue sample will give researchers the ability to analyze the genome and look for gene mutations.
Because genomic testing is a relatively new practice in the field of oncology, there is limited information available. So, genomic testing is not useful in every cancer case. Talk to your oncologist about your specific case.
Dignity Health offers personalized cancer care with the use of genomics, in Arizona.