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Fox Chase Starts Personalized Medicine Institute

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia has launched the Institute for Personalized Medicine, which will use the center's sample repository and oncology programs along with sequencing to develop personalized chemotherapy approaches.

The IPM will use the center's biosample repository and tumor bank to develop genetic information about individual tumors, and it will incorporate this type of data in its Phase I Clinical Trials Program.

Initially, IPM will use tumor sequencing for "a sizable number of known cancer-related genes," and it will use this genomic information to select appropriate chemotherapy regimens and possibly new drugs being used in the early trials.

The IPM "has the potential to expand dramatically both the pool of available drugs and the list of eligible cancer types," Jeff Boyd, Fox Chase's CSO, said in a statement.

The information about the tumors in the biosample repository will be used to help researchers match tumor types with a pool of new therapeutics that have not been released.

"Instead of simply enrolling patients into Phase I trials who have been treated with and failed to respond to every standard treatment, the information we gain in this project may allow us to determine more accurately which patients should be enrolled into which clinical trial," Roger Cohen, director of Fox Chase's Phase I Clinical Trials Program, said in the statement.

"Of course, this does not just apply to Phase I trials," Cohen said, adding that it "potentially applies to all lines of cancer therapy, including selection of the patient's very first chemotherapy treatment."

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