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Cancer Patients Can Get a Blueprint of Their Diseased Genes

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 8:23am
Fox Chase Cancer Center

Image: Cancer Genome InstituteFox Chase Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, is now offering patients with advanced cancer a cutting-edge clinical test that will provide them with a unique blueprint of their cancer genes.

The new clinical test, known as CancerCode-45TM, evaluates an individual’s tumor for genetic alterations in a select group of 45 genes and gives physicians the opportunity to look at the alterations and be even more precise when choosing a course of treatment. The test is being offered through the Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase — one of only a few centers in the nation to offer such pioneering technology in cancer molecular diagnostics.

“Gaining insight like this into the DNA of a specific tumor is the next step in transforming cancer care and prevailing over cancer,” says Michael Seiden, president and CEO of Fox Chase. “We are very excited to be offering this innovative test at our Center and look forward to the ways it will enhance the care we provide our patients.”

Using leading-edge technology, physicians and scientists at Fox Chase are able to perform the CancerCode-45 test and analyze the genetic information in the DNA of a patient’s tumor to find changes that are crucial to supporting their cancer. This genetic analysis will examine multiple alterations in 45 cancer-related genes and provide a report to the patient’s treating physician.

Prior to the CancerCode-45 test being performed, patients will need to see a Fox Chase physician to provide information about their background, medical history, current medications and ability to perform daily activities. In addition, the physician will need to take a blood sample and a sample of the tumor (which can come from a previous surgery or biopsy that the patient might have had). It takes about 20 working days to get each patient’s test results.

“Not every patient will benefit from this test, but for some it could very well change their entire course of treatment and significantly prolong their life,” says Jeff Boyd, executive director of the Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase. “At the very least, the results may help physicians decide how to treat their patients with advanced cancer — whether by suggesting they use a particular type of drug or not use a particular type of drug or by allowing them to take part in clinical trials of new medications guided by their tumor’s genetic profile.”

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