Precision Medicine

The IHR conducts research aimed at improving precision medicine approaches in care delivery to inform guidelines for best practices both locally at Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) and nationally. The use of precision medicine technologies to identify targeted treatment or care plans based on an individual patient's risk factors, genes, and disease characteristics is a critical area of medical research nationwide. IHR researchers are working to find novel approaches in precision medicine by evaluating biomarkers in cancer precursor lesions, improving data capture and tracking for tests related to precision medicine, and understanding how members and clinicians understand and use precision medicine information.


Precision Medicine Researchers


Featured Projects

Investigator: Andrea Burnett-Hartman, PhD, MPH
The objective of this project is to characterize factors relating to the genetic predisposition, clinical presentation, and prognosis of serrated colorectal cancer.
Funder: Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 04/30/2021
Investigators: Andrea Burnett-Hartman, PhD, MPH and Heather Spencer Feigelson, PhD, MPH
The KP National Biobank is a collaboration across all Kaiser regions funded by the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. The goal of the biobank is to collect blood and/or tissue samples on 400,000 Kaiser Permanente members and utilize them, combined with survey data and medical information, to create a state-of-the-art resource for genetic and health services research.
Funder: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
Study End Date: 06/2021
Investigator: Heather Spencer Feigelson, PhD, MPH
The goal of this project is to investigate the implementation of exome sequencing in practice settings that primarily serve racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse patients while examining the needs of both patients and clinicians. We will evaluate the clinical utility of exome sequencing in healthy adults of reproductive age at risk for hereditary cancer syndromes (Lynch Syndrome and Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer). We will evaluate and tailor for diverse populations the critical interactions in the program, including the consent process, choices for reporting additional findings, and the response to results disclosure.
Funder: National Human Genome Research Institute
Study End Date: 05/31/2021
Investigator: Andrea Burnett-Hartman, PhD, MPH
This project proposes to identify biomarkers in sessile serrated polyps that are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. These biomarkers may later be used to guide colorectal cancer surveillance recommendations or included in stool-based DNA panels to improve the effectiveness of stool-based colorectal cancer screening tests.
Funder: Department of Defense
Study End Date: 07/31/2018
Investigator: Heather Spencer Feigelson, PhD, MPH
The aim of this study is to identify miRNA expression changes associated with risk of invasive breast cancer among a cohort of women initially diagnosed with DCIS.
Funder: National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 07/31/2022
Investigator: Andrea Burnett-Hartman, PhD, MPH
The primary objective of this project is to identify attitudes, barriers, and facilitators to genetic testing and research participation among KP members.
Funder: Garfield Memorial Fund
Study End Date: 04/30/2019
Investigator: Heather Spencer Feigelson, PhD, MPH
Despite recommendations that all ovarian cancer cases should receive genetic counseling and testing, rates remain low. This study aims to increase the identification of women and their families who have a higher cancer risk by applying a traceback testing approach to retrospectively identify women who have a prior diagnosis of ovarian cancer. This study will leverage tumor registries to identify prior cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed within the past 10 years at two managed care healthcare systems (Kaiser Permanente Northwest and Kaiser Permanente Colorado). The use of archived pathology samples for germline genetic testing will allow family members of both living and deceased women to receive familial genetic cancer risk information. We will assess: 1) the feasibility of and barriers associated with using tumor registries and archived pathology samples for a traceback testing approach; 2) explore the ethical, privacy, and policy implications associated with genetic testing in deceased patients to inform familial risk; 3) characterize barriers to receiving genetic counseling at the time of diagnosis, including barriers to referral, care access, and patient follow-up.
Funder: National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
Study End Date: 02/28/2024