Precision Health and Targeted Therapies

The more science reveals about how diseases work and how they affect our bodies, the better we understand that the conditions we think of as one disease are actually hundreds of different conditions.

Our precision health approach redefines how we think about medicine and illnesses. In addition to targeted therapies for cancer and other diseases, we are developing new approaches to treatment. We strive to use genetics, new technologies and data in innovative ways to match the right treatment at the right time for the best outcomes.

Milestones and Possibilities

  • Rather than considering a disease by the part of the body it affects, researchers at Cedars-Sinai are defining illnesses at the molecular level. Defining them by their unique genetic qualities allows physicians and scientists to weigh, for example, how a drug developed for Crohn’s disease could benefit rheumatoid arthritis patients. This disease-agnostic approach reveals new pathways to treatments by recognizing that the genes that medicines target may be the same across various conditions, though the symptoms may be different.
  • Emerging technologies at Cedars-Sinai are allowing a patient’s disease to be re-created on tiny chips using stem cells. A specific patient’s heart arrhythmia can be mimicked on the cellular level. Researchers can build a model of a person’s gut that reflects their inflammatory bowel disease, their own immune system and their microbiome. This technology could potentially allow an array of drugs to be tested in the lab, saving patients precious time and delivering therapies to them that are more likely to be effective.
  • Cedars-Sinai is exploring a new treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that attacks the disease at the molecular level using a patient’s own genetic material, thereby significantly reducing the impact of a condition that has so far evaded treatment.
  • Using cells from a patient’s brain tumor, researchers are building a model of the tumor to run through sequencing and test for millions of genetic mutations, enabling them to devise treatments that target only the abnormal proteins that are the building blocks of cancer.
  • A new technique called extended blood matching goes beyond standard blood typing, demonstrating that by testing for genetic variations in the proteins and sugars in blood cells, hospitals can reduce the risk of an adverse reaction from the body’s immune system after blood transfusions.