Individualized Treatment Approach at Johns Hopkins
Decades of research and innovation in breast care have led to a very individualized approach to breast cancer treatment at Johns Hopkins. Before determining your personalized course of treatment, oncologists at the Breast Cancer Program at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center first determine the subtype of breast cancer to tailor therapy based on each person’s tumor characteristics and, when appropriate, genetic code. By looking at each individual’s genetic makeup, our team can better determine treatment plans that will be most effective.
Our multidisciplinary team at the Breast Cancer Program works together to determine the optimal breast cancer treatment plan based on the individual type and complexity of your specific genetic code with treatments that may include:
Innovations in Research for Breast Cancer Treatments
With this more advanced genetic understanding of cancer, we now know that breast cancer is recognized as several distinct diseases, with unique biological components. This knowledge has changed the path of breast cancer treatment because we can now determine treatment plans based on each patient’s unique diagnosis.
Vered Stearns, Co-director, Breast Cancer Program
“Within the next few years, all cancer patients at the Kimmel Cancer Center will have their tumors analyzed to reveal a unique ‘fingerprint’ representing a specific combination of genetic and epigenetic alterations,” states Dr. Stearns, Breast Cancer Program Director. “This will change the way we study new drugs and use old ones. Instead of administering the same drugs to all breast cancer patients, we can direct them to the patients whose cancers contain the specific gene change targeted by the drugs, ensuring that the best treatments get to the right patients.”
Some treatments may led to side effects such as heart disease and bone loss. We work closelly with specialists in gynecology, endocrinology and cardiology to provide individuals with the best possible intervention to reduce or address the risks.
The Kimmel Cancer Center is one of few cancer centers in the country setting the standard of care for breast cancer therapy and for survivors following treatment. As continued innovations in research lead to improved treatments, Johns Hopkins is leading the way for a greater number of breast cancer survivors.