NEW YORK – Cedars-Sinai Cancer and Tempus on Thursday said they will jointly advance a precision medicine initiative, dubbed Molecular Twin, aimed at creating a database of information that can guide oncology treatment strategies and inform new research.
Los Angeles-based cancer center Cedars-Sinai and Chicago-based diagnostics firm Tempus will collect patient samples and use them to create virtual replicas of their DNA, RNA, protein, and other medical information. These "molecular twins," as the partners are calling them, may then be used by physicians to identify the best treatment approach for their patients and by researchers to classify cancer-associated genetic anomalies and proteins and home in on why certain patients develop resistance to personalized therapies.
The database will contain patients' deidentified results from Tempus' next-generation sequencing tests and the drugs and treatments they've been matched to using the company's artificial intelligence platform. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai will also use Tempus' NGS tests to sequence samples from specific populations of cancer patients. The partners hope the initiative will help shed light on ethnic and racial disparities in precision oncology, including how these disparities affect tumor biology and treatment.
In order to make the information in the Molecular Twin database accessible and actionable for both physicians and researchers, Tempus is integrating it with Cedars-Sinai's electronic medical records system.
"Molecular twins serve as scientific stunt doubles that are always in the lab, ready to identify the best current therapies and, perhaps, reveal important details of how a cancer will affect the patient," Dan Theodorescu, director of Cedars-Sinai and leader of the initiative, said in a statement. "We hope that in the long term, the scientific convergence of multiple biologic, physical, and computational datasets on thousands of patients will enable us to develop the treatments of tomorrow as we discover the circuitry used by cancer and other abnormal cells to drive the disease."