All patients of the Koontz Center for Advanced Breast Cancer will have their tumor sequenced to find the exact genomic mutation causing the spread of the disease. We call it Precision Oncology.
We seek to find a drug that targets your specific genomic alteration, personalizing your treatment down to the DNA level. And while most other centers test 600 cancer genes, Saint Luke's is the only center in a 450-mile radius to test all 20,000 cancer genes. This gives you a much higher likelihood of finding the best treatment option.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is precision oncology?
Precision oncology uses leading-edge genomic sequencing to analyze the unique genomic characteristics of a patient’s tumor and identify the specific mutation that is causing it, allowing us to create a truly personalized treatment plan for each patient.
What makes Saint Luke’s Center for Precision Oncology services so unique?
Our expertise sets Saint Luke’s apart from other centers that offer genomic sequencing. We are one of the only centers in the country offering patients whole genome sequencing, and with our multidisciplinary panel of experts in the fields of medical oncology, cancer genomics, and computational biology, we are uniquely able to provide a higher level of analysis to cancer patients in this region.
Who is eligible for this service?
Anyone with advanced stage cancers can seek genomic testing and treatment at Saint Luke’s Hospital Center for Precision Oncology, even if that person isn’t a Koontz Center patient. You will meet with our experts for an initial consultation to determine the best course of action. We can also give a second opinion on any previous genomic testing.
How can patients outside Kansas City access this service?
Genomic testing from the Center for Precision Oncology is available at both Saint Luke’s South Hospital in Overland Park, and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City on the Plaza. However, patients will only need to make two or three visits at either location to take advantage of this program—all other treatment can be done close to the patient’s home.
How does the process work?
We’ll determine if we need to take a blood sample, analyze previous tumor samples, or perform a new biopsy for the genomic test. Our team of molecular oncology experts will meet to discuss your test results and personalize the treatment recommendation. Your current oncologist is welcome to participate in this meeting, either in person or via teleconference.
What are the precision treatment options?
Our team will evaluate whether the patient is a candidate for participation in a clinical trial, selected chemotherapy, or use of a targeted drug. We may recommend using a drug that is typically used on a different type of cancer if it has been shown to be effective in treating a specific mutation. Our dedicated specialty pharmacist works to get our patients access to the medication they need.