How is precision genomic testing used in cancer treatment?

Some patients may develop cancer due to an inherited mutation, while others may develop cancer without any inherited mutations. In both cases, the tumor often contains mutations that cause the tumor to grow and spread throughout the body. Some of these mutations can be “blocked” by using certain targeted therapies. For example, if a patient inherits a mutation in the BRCA2 gene, they may be at increased risk for developing several types of cancer; early and frequent mammograms and colonoscopies may help to identify a cancer earlier so that the patient is more likely to survive the cancer. BRCA2 mutations can also develop later in life and exist only in the cells that become cancer cells. In both cases, a class of medicines called PARP inhibitors may stop the cancer from growing and spreading. However, PARP inhibitors may not shrink the tumor in a patient who does not have this mutation. In this case, the patient may have a different mutation that can be affected by a different targeted therapy.

Clinical decision support

Every patient’s cancer is different. Patients with cancer can have various tests performed that provide information about the unique molecular features of their specific tumor. When the DNA inside cancer cells is sequenced, we can identify mutations that may be driving the tumor to grow and spread throughout the body. Sometimes, these DNA mutations can be “targeted” with therapies that block the mutation from driving tumor growth and spread. It is important to understand the cellular mechanisms that are disrupted by these DNA mutations so that the most appropriate targeted therapy can be selected.

The Parkview Precision Genomics team provides support to medical oncologists through scientific analysis of patient molecular test results. This allows the treating provider to consider the most complete and comprehensive set of treatment options that are custom-selected for each unique patient, rather than a traditional one-size-fits-all approach to cancer treatment.


The data generated from these genomic oncology tests is essential to advancing our understanding of the molecular foundations of tumor biology and development of new treatments for cancer patients. At Parkview, our research scientists are examining this evidence-based genomic data to understand our Parkview patient population on the molecular level.

Examining the genomes of our patients also allows us to open the most appropriate clinical trials for future patients and allows us to provide the highest quality of care to our community. These clinical trial searches extend beyond clinical trials that may be available at Parkview. Participation in these trials allows new discoveries to be made and new targeted treatments to be available as the standard of care in the future.


The era of precision medicine is unfolding rapidly. The Parkview Precision Genomics team offers educational sessions to Parkview providers and clinicians to ensure that they are armed with the most current and accurate information, allowing them to make the very best treatment choices for their patients.