Precision Medicine at Sparrow
We are the first cancer center in Mid-Michigan to partner with Foundation Medicine, a world-leading molecular insights company, to connect our Physicians and Patients to the latest precision medicine targeted therapies. Precision medicine has begun a paradigm shift in cancer treatment where more and more cancers are now treated based on genomic mutations within a given cancer Patient, and not on the broad type of cancer groups. For example, the drug for breast cancer can be used against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, or colon cancer if the Patient’s cancer cells have a specific mutation. At Sparrow, we recognize that one size does not fit all, and we are humbled to pioneer the process for the Mid-Michigan community.
Sparrow is actively involved and encourages participation in cancer clinical trials designed with new, state-of-the-art, multi-targeted drugs against different cancer malignancies. These targeted drug therapies are available right here in Mid-Michigan and translate to shorter hospital stays and lower risk of side effects for our Patients. Access to this quality of care is just another reason why Patients choose Sparrow.
Examples of targeted therapies used at Sparrow Herbert-Herman Cancer Center include:
Targeted Drug Therapies
Targeted drug therapies are routinely used in our care centers to treat cancer Patients. These non-chemotherapy approaches target specific cancer cell characteristics, either within the cell or on the surface of cells, limiting side effects of cancer treatment. They are used alone or in combination with other treatments, including radiation therapy.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
As unique as a fingerprint, this specialized course of treatment is tailored to each individual Patient based on computer-generated, 3-D modeling of Patient tumors and the surrounding tissue. With IMRT, our oncology team can modulate the radiation therapy to conform around a cancer treatment site, while minimally affecting healthy tissue.
Through TomoTherapy, we can sculpt small, powerful and precise radiation beams to hit hard-to-reach tumors. This allows us to effectively target tumors while protecting a Patient’s healthy surrounding tissue and minimizing side effects.
Radioimmunotherapy is an exciting treatment where a carrier molecule selectively seeks out and labels cancer cells for destruction. This ensures that cancerous cells receive a high dose of radiation, while the surrounding healthy tissue is protected.
Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that places radiation directly into or near a tumor. Brachytherapy – sometimes referred to as internal radiation – reduces the risk of damage to healthy tissue and increases the likelihood of destroying the tumor.
Several cancers are known to grow under the influence of hormones. By blocking the hormonal effect, we can reduce the stimulus for these cancers to grow. Hormone blockers are administered to our cancer Patients both orally and by injection.
Many breast cancer Patients concerned about the possibility of cancer recurrence opt for this highly effective, targeted therapy. Sparrow’s oncological team uses a balloon catheter to facilitate the delivery of radiation precisely to where it’s needed most.