CARLSBAD, Calif. – (Business Wire) Life Technologies Corporation today announced the creation of the Genomic Cancer Care Alliance to help people battling cancer gain access to treatment options found through analysis of their genomic information. Founding partners include Fox Chase Cancer Center, Scripps Genomic Medicine, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).The announcement came during the Consumer Genetics Conference being held June 2-4 in Boston.
The Alliance will launch a pilot study aimed at determining whether whole-genome sequencing can better guide treatment decisions across a number of difficult-to-treat cancers. US Oncology, Inc., the nation’s leading integrated oncology company, is expected to serve as the contract research and site management organization for the study.
The study builds upon a research trial announced earlier this year by Life Technologies, TGen and US Oncology to sequence the genomes of 14 patients diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer whose tumors have progressed despite multiple other therapies. In contrast to the breast cancer trial, this study is the first one to evaluate the use of whole-genome sequencing information in guiding treatment decisions across a wide range of cancer types.
“This is a groundbreaking initiative for oncologists and their patients that should demonstrate how whole-genome sequencing with analytics and counseling can identify a treatment plan customized specifically for each seriously ill patient,” said Paul Billings, M.D., Ph.D., the Alliance’s Chief Medical Officer, and a thought leader for more than 30 years in the application of genetics in medicine, who currently serves as Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital. “There is an urgent need to define and validate a complete medical workflow for genomic-based cancer care.”
The Alliance expects the study to begin enrolling patients late this year. Protocols for the study are currently being developed and will most likely focus on advanced cancer patients who have failed initial rounds of therapy.
“Life Technologies is proud to be leading this initiative with a number of dedicated institutions who are committed to and believe in the clinical utility of cancer sequencing,” said Gregory T. Lucier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Life Technologies. “We strongly believe that genome sequencing will allow physicians to treat their patients not just based on the type of cancer they have, but on the biological pathways that led to mutations, which ultimately resulted in the development of cancer. We look forward to exploring how sequencing can provide the medical community with more specific, accurate data that can help guide cancer treatment options.”
As currently envisioned, patients enrolled in the study will have both tumor and normal tissue sequenced by TGen, Scripps, and other organizations, using Life Technologies’ Applied Biosystems SOLiD™ System to identify mutations. The SOLiD System is used globally in research experiments to better understand the genetic nature of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders. Its throughput, accuracy and flexibility allow researchers to generate the high quality data needed for the advancement of molecular medicine.
The results will be validated by a CLIA-certified lab and interpreted by TGen and Omicia Inc, a personalized medicine company focused on interpreting genome sequences for clinical applications. A centralized tumor board for the study, composed of physicians from Fox Chase Cancer Center, TGen, Scripps and El Camino Hospital’s Genomic Medicine Institute, will study the results and consult with patients’ oncologists regarding how to use the test results to develop personalized care plans. Scripps Genomic Medicine, a program of the nationally renowned Scripps Health organization, is focused on using genetic information to create individual treatment plans. Fox Chase hosts the Institute for Personalized Medicine and, as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, is one of the leading cancer treatment and research centers in the United States. The Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital is nationally recognized for the support it provides to the medical community on clinical uses of genetic testing information.