Based on the results, eligible patients will be matched to the best available clinical trials or most innovative therapy. The project begins on Feb. 1.
“This partnership with Strata will give our patients the opportunity to participate in precision medicine clinical trials without leaving the state of Delaware,” said Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director of Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. “Tumor profiling is becoming the state-of-the-art, and by collaborating with the unique strengths of Strata, the Graham Cancer Center will continue to stay on the cutting edge of cancer treatment and prevention.”
Christiana Care joins a mal group of health systems in the country that are part of the Strata Network. The nationwide Strata Trial is open to solid tumor and lymphoma patients upon diagnosis of advanced disease.
Strata plans to provide genome sequencing of 100,000 patients in the next three years.
“Building partnerships that bring breakthrough cancer medicine to our patients is another example of Christiana Care’s innovation, delivering the best possible care for our neighbors in Delaware and surrounding communities,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., CEO of Christiana Care.
Treatments based on what the pathologist sees under a microscope are giving way to therapies based on a deeper genetic understanding of a person’s individual disease.
“Our DNA code is what governs function on a cellular level,” said Graham Cancer Center Medical Oncologist Michael Guarino, M.D. “Inherited – or more often acquired – defects in that code may lead to cancer. This new technology of genomic analysis gives us insights as to what distinguishes cancer from normal tissue and will provide us with more precise targets to strike, resulting in hopefully better outcomes.”
Most patients treated at regional or community cancer centers do not undergo routine tumor genome sequencing at the DNA or genetic level until all standard treatments have been exhausted. The testing is expensive and not widely covered by insurance. Consequently, patients with advanced cancer are often unaware of the molecular features of their disease and, without widespread testing, pharmaceutical companies are having difficulty finding patients for trials of new precision drugs that target specific defects or mutations in the DNA code.