DNA Sequencing, or gene and tumor sequencing, involves extracting a DNA sample from blood, tumors or the body’s microbiome (bacteria and some fungi) to identify key genetic patterns and mutations. By analyzing the unique genetic code found in this DNA sample, our team can better diagnose conditions, tailor treatments and personalize care.

Our leading-edge laboratory has been involved in DNA sequencing for a variety of disease and conditions for decades. Our ability to use DNA sequencing as a diagnostic tool allows our team to:

  • Develop personalized drug therapies for cancer patients to maximize outcomes
  • Assess the risk of stroke and other heart conditions and more effectively prescribe blood thinning medications

Other examples of how NorthShore is ahead of curve when it comes to genomic sequencing include:

Cancer | Cardiovascular Care | Infectious Disease 


The impact that the Center for Personalized Medicine will have to our knowledge and understanding of cancer diagnosis, progression and treatment is very significant. By sequencing both the tumor and genome gathered from a blood sample, our experts can determine key biomarkers to help drive the most effective, personalized treatment plan. A better understanding of the cancer gives our physicians that ability to not only predict, but also tailor therapies and medications based on a patient’s unique needs.

NorthShore is one of the only institutions in the Chicago area and one of the few in the county currently utilizing genomic information from a lung cancer patient’s blood and tumor to develop a personalized treatment plan. This same process will be expanded across other cancers and conditions in the years to come. 

Our team of oncology experts is currently involved in molecular research and applying key findings the following types of cancer:

  • Lung, head and neck
  • Thyroid
  • Brain
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Breast
  • Prostate
  • Melanoma

Cardiovascular Care

  • Heart disease and other conditions—An individual’s unique genes can inform our team of which medication will work best to prevent various heart conditions including stroke, heart attack and blood clots. Gene sequencing gives our experts the ability to determine which blood thinner will metabolize best for each individual patient thus reducing toxicity and improving care. 

Infectious Disease

  • Infections— By identifying the exact viral or bacterial infection—such as C-diff or MRSA—through DNA testing, our team can determine which treatment option will be most effective to eliminate it. Through gene testing, we will know if the infection is resistant to antibiotics or not. This level of diagnostic testing increases patient safety, better controls infections and leads to a more rapid diagnosis.
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