Cancer center establishes Clinical Molecular Profiling Program with Partnership

By Nikki Henderson |

Published 08/12 2014 10:28AM

Updated 08/12 2014 10:35AM

Doctors at the LSU Health Shreveport Feist-Weiller Cancer Center will now have access to innovative, precision-medicine technology that determines the unique biological characteristics of each individual patient's cancer tumor. 

Once that information is known, physicians can identify tailored chemotherapy or radiation regimens to attack it. The new capability is the result of emerging technology called tumor profiling.

Feist-Weiller will partner with Caris Life Sciences to offer the breakthrough technology to cancer patients of University Health Shreveport, a clinical partner of the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine. 

The region's first clinical molecular profiling program will use Caris' industry leading comprehensive tumor profiling service, Caris Molecular Intelligence TM, to enhance the clinical and research expertise of Feist-Weiller Cancer Center.

It will expand the center's personalized medicine approach to care and offer more precise treatment planning for patients. The partnership with Caris also includes clinical support, patient and physician education and system integration.  It also creates a forum to pursue joint research opportunities.

Professor and Director of Feist-Weiller Cancer Center Dr. Glenn Mills said, "As the only institution in a 250-mile radius to offer these capabilities, our partnership with Caris is critical to providing more precise, personalized care for cancer patients treated at our Center each year.  This type of technology is integral to better understanding the unique molecular characteristics of a patient's disease, which enables more targeted treatment planning."

Chairman and Professor, Director of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Research at LSU Health Shreveport Dr. Cherie-Ann O. Nathan believes this molecular profiling program will elevate not only the level of clinical care for patients, but also the Center's research programs.

Nathan said, "Organ preservation using radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy is often used as an alternative to surgery for advanced stage disease. However, radiation resistance in head and neck cancer often results in failure to respond to therapy. Feist-Weiller Cancer Center is the first to molecularly profile radiation resistant genes with Caris to identify potential patients who may not benefit from radiation therapy or would benefit from alternative radiosensitizing chemotherapy."

In recent years, molecular profiling has become a valuable tool for oncologists when making treatment decisions for patients with difficult-to-treat and/or rare and aggressive cancers.

Caris Molecular Intelligence correlates the molecular data from a tumor with biomarker/drug associations from the latest clinical and scientific literature on cancer. This information is used to recommend therapies more or less likely to benefit the patient. It will also identify potential clinical trials for the patient. The system uses traditional pathology analysis methods, along with more-recently developed DNA sequencing technologies.

Chairman and CEO of Caris Life Sciences David D. Halbert said, "Every day, oncologists make critical decisions about clinical care that demand the most accurate, actionable and reliable data available, based upon each patient's unique tumor. As the leader in comprehensive tumor profiling for cancer, we are pleased to partner with LSU's Feist-Weiller Cancer Center and their experts to create a molecular profiling program that will offer this cutting edge treatment information information which can help patients better battle their disease."

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