Precision Medicine

Targeted treatment for your cancer.

We know that people with the same kind of cancer may respond differently to the same treatment. That’s because your cancer has its own “profile.”

Cancer begins when there is change or damage to cells, which eventually creates a cancer of the blood or forms a tumor. There are many factors that can cause these changes, including:

  • Inherited genetic traits
  • Environmental influences 
  • Lifestyle differences

The pattern of changes in your tumor influences how cancer grows and spreads. We may recommend Precision Medicine genomic testing of your tumor tissue, which looks at the pattern of changes in your tumor cells that influence how cancer grows and spreads. We also may suggest further genetic testing to identify genes you were born with that may influence your unique type of cancer.

Our Precision Medicine experts harness the power of this information found in your cancer to create your tumor profile and design treatment just for you.

Talk with your Henry Ford Cancer specialist to see whether you could benefit from precision medicine.

Precision Medicine
Two people may have the same type of cancer, but no two people respond to treatment exactly alike. Precision Medicine works to find targeted treatments custom-fit for each person. 

You have a leader in Precision Medicine

Henry Ford Cancer’s Precision Medicine program is the first and most comprehensive in Michigan to offer genomic testing and expertise of a molecular tumor board to all cancer patients. 

Henry Ford Cancer’s commitment to Precision Medicine was introduced in June 2016 as part of the White House’s Cancer Moonshot initiative. The CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group Steven Kalkanis, M.D. attended the Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C., to announce a program to bring the most advanced cancer care to the Midwest. A huge step forward in cancer care, Precision Medicine provides advanced treatment options to patients where in many cases hope was not present. 

Our visionary work with international glioblastoma and clinical trials experts led to another major step forward for precision medicine. We were first-in-the-world to enroll a patient in the GBM AGILE (Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment) Trial, aimed at identifying the most effective therapies for patients with the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

dr kalkanis at biden cancer summit

We reaffirmed our commitment to precision medicine and to paving a path for health systems to share data for cutting edge cancer treatment in September 2018 at the Biden Cancer Summit. Dr. Kalkanis was among a select group to take center stage for precision medicine at the national summit in Washington, D.C.

Henry Ford also is among a few select health systems in the country chosen to participate in All of Us, a National Institutes of Health Precision Medicine research program.


  • Benefits of Precision Medicine
  • Precision Medicine and Your Care Journey 
  • Your Precision Medicine Care Team
  • Individualized care. Your treatment plan is designed just for you, based on your tumor profile.
  • Access to advanced treatments. Your tumor profile may help you learn if you qualify for clinical trials of the newest cancer treatments.
  • Extended survival rates. Studies have shown that Precision Medicine can extend the survival of people with cancer.
  • Fewer side effects. Precision Medicine can offer fewer side effects and help you avoid unnecessary treatments.
  • Discovery of genetic abnormalities. Precision Medicine is a good option for metastatic cancer — cancer that has spread from its original location — because abnormalities in your genes and DNA are more likely to be found. Genetic markers also may help us understand if you will respond better to traditional treatment options.
  • Incorporates your personal preferences. Your individual preferences are considered to further specialize your treatment plan.
  • Data can help other people. Your tumor profile may help us understand how best to treat other patients as well.

For patients at Henry Ford Cancer, we’ve designed a highly personalized experience that we call the “cancer care pathway.” A nurse navigator helps you every step of the way, from diagnosis to treatment through survivorship.

  1. You and your care team will discuss if you could benefit from Precision Medicine and be eligible for targeted therapy.
  2. If you choose to proceed, testing of a small sample of your tumor will be performed by the Henry Ford Center for Precision Diagnostics.
  3. Your information is discussed by Precision Medicine experts at our molecular tumor board. We look at real-world results for patients with a similar tumor profile using a national data network. This can help identify treatments or clinical trials that are more likely to work, and help you avoid unnecessary treatments and their side effects. 
  4. Recommendations are discussed with experts on one of our 15 disease specific tumor boards. 
  5. Your care team works together to design the best treatment plan for you.
  6. Your response to treatment is tracked to see what works best — for current and future treatments. Some cancers don’t have targeted therapies yet, but Precision Medicine is ever evolving.
  7. We counsel you along the way throughout the course of your treatment.

Henry Ford Cancer brings together clinical oncology, research (clinical trials and epidemiologic studies), IT analytics, a molecular tumor board, and the Henry Ford Center for Precision Diagnostics into a program that wholly encompasses all aspects of Precision Medicine. 

Center for Precision Diagnostics

The Henry Ford Center for Precision Diagnostics is nationally renowned and the only comprehensive genomics testing laboratory in Michigan. The center includes board-certified molecular pathologists and PhD scientists specializing in molecular genetics and cytogenomics.

Molecular Tumor Board

Our Molecular Tumor Board is comprised of an expert team of medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, molecular pathologists, geneticists, and bioinformatics and clinical trials experts. This team analyzes molecular diagnostic results and explores specific biologic drugs or clinical trials to determine the right match. Their treatment recommendations are shared with the referring physician and one of our 16 disease-specific tumor boards to provide advanced precision medicine support across the continuum of care. Our recommendations are powered by partners that share aggregated cancer genomics data through an advanced software platform, rapidly bringing insight into the treatment options that will offer the best results for your tumor profile. 

Newly diagnosed?

Contact the cancer team 24/7 by calling (888) 777-4167.


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