Written by Jill Kolesar, PharmD, a professor in the UK College of Pharmacy, co-director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Molecular Tumor Board and director of Markey’s Precision Medicine Clinic.
Historically, cancer treatment has been offered through one-size-fits-all therapies based on the average person.
But that is changing as we learn more about cancer and why it occurs. Scientists and doctors – including those at the Markey Cancer Center and UK HealthCare – are increasingly using an exciting new treatment option called precision medicine.
Precision medicine a kind of treatment that takes into account each patient’s individual genetics, environment and lifestyle to find a tailored therapy that works for their specific cancer.
Recently, we launched our very own Precision Medicine Clinic at UK, the first of its kind in Kentucky. Our team at the Precision Medicine Clinic specializes in finding personalized treatment options that will be most effective for our patients.
What is the Precision Medicine Clinic?
Because precision medicine is a relatively new approach to treating cancer, many of the therapies are still being studied in early-phase clinical trials.
The Precision Medicine Clinic is a dedicated treatment center for patients with cancer who are enrolled in or eligible for early-phase precision medicine clinical trials. The clinic provides a space for patients to receive clinical trial treatments, with staff highly experienced in precision medicine and clinical trials.
What does the Precision Medicine Clinic offer?
As part of Markey, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Kentucky, the clinic provides access to early-phase precision medicine clinical trials. Through these trials, we offer many cancer treatment services, including:
- Infusion therapy, treatment delivered intravenously (IV).
- Targeted therapy, treatment that works based on a patient’s genetics.
- Immunotherapy, treatment that works with a patient’s immune system.
- Oral cancer therapies, treatment patients can take by mouth at home, making treatment more convenient and accessible.
The clinic is also connected with Markey’s Molecular Tumor Board. This multidisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians meets regularly to discuss specific cases and use the members’ shared expertise to find treatment options for patients with cancer.
Who works in the Precision Medicine Clinic?
Our clinic is fully staffed with experts in the field of precision medicine and clinical trials:
- Precision medicine nurses specialize in administering infusion, or IV, treatments to patients, ensure patients are comfortable, and address any unexpected complications during the infusion.
- Clinical research nurses work with patients to find the best-fit clinical trial for their specific cancer and health conditions.
- Precision medicine pharmacists are experts in ensuring investigational and standard-of-care therapies fit with each patient’s other medications and conditions, preventing adverse effects, and in educating patients on how to take their medications.
- Clinical service technicians work with patients, physicians and pharmacists to ensure all treatments run smoothly and effectively.
- Medical oncologists and hematologists from a variety of specialties provide their expertise for each patient and their individualized treatment.
How can you contact the Precision Medicine Clinic?
If you or someone you know could benefit from the Precision Medicine Clinic, please contact us at 859-323-7750.
Watch a video interview with Dr. Kolesar, where she tells us more about the Precision Medicine Clinic and how cancer patients can benefit from its services.