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Northwestern Launches New Personalized Oncology Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) - The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University today announced a collaboration with the Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute (NMDTI) andNorthwestern Memorial Hospitalto launch a precision medicine research program combining oncology and genomics called Northwestern Onco-SET (Sequence, Evaluate, Treat).

"Onco-SET will provide the environment and infrastructure in which we can deliver personalized cancer treatment for patients who currently have very limited options, while accelerating our other research focused on developing novel individually tailored agents," Francis Giles, deputy director of the Lurie Cancer Center and director of NMDTI, said in a statement.

A feature of the program is the newly created Lurie Cancer Center Molecular Tumor Board, which will bring experts together to review every tumor's genomic profile to evaluate the best treatment options for each patient. The board will consist of a range of cancer specialists, including pathologists, medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, as well as cancer geneticists, genome biologists, bio-ethicists, and bioinformaticists. Leonidas Platanias, director of the Lurie Cancer Center, said that the multidisciplinary program would use molecularly defined genomic targets to determine treatment options including novel early-phase clinical trials.

The program will initially focus on patients with cancers that are not responsive to traditional therapies, the center said.

In November 2014, the Lurie Cancer Center and the NMDTI announced they would create a translational medicine program to develop cancer therapeutics, with backing from Foundation Medicine. In December, the organizations announced they would also collaborate with NeoGenomics.