Skip Navigation

The Genomic Sequencing Process

As a first step, our physicians review each patient for candidacy to determine if precision medicine may be an effective treatment alternative. Genomic sequencing is most often recommended for patients who:

  • Have active cancer that has failed standard treatment
  • Are active, or spend half or more of the day mobile and out of bed

Next steps include:

1. If the patient’s tumor cells samples are not already in our tumor bank, a tissue sample is taken. The biopsy method depends on the specific cancer. 

2. The DNA code of the cancer cells is obtained and analyzed for genetic mutations and abnormalities. 

3. A report is generated that may identify cancer-associated genes in the tumor.

4. Our physicians analyze the report and create a treatment strategy.

5. Our physicians share findings and discuss treatment options with the patient.

6. Treatment begins. Depending on test results, a patient may:

  • Take new cancer-fighting therapies 
  • Participate in a clinical trial for a drug being studied 
  • Take FDA-approved drugs that are repurposed, or used in a different way, to target the specific tumor

Patients will receive a treatment plan within a month after the tissue biopsy. While our goal is to match each patient with the most effective treatment, some patients may have a genetic makeup for which there is no appropriate therapy. Learn more.

Last Updated: 01-13-2016
Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

© Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157. All Rights Reserved.