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Fox Chase, Life Technologies Team on Cancer Sequencing Center

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia said today that it will partner with Life Technologies to develop, use, and evaluate the use of next-generation clinical sequencing technologies for personalized cancer care.

The partnership will be a cornerstone for the planned Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase, which aims to combine multidisciplinary resources at the center to evaluate how genomic sequencing of tumors can be used to manage cancer patients.

The agreement will enable Fox Chase clinicians to compare a genomic analysis of a patient's tumor with their normal tissues, and will be based on Life Technologies' platforms, including the SOLiD system, Ion Torrent's semiconductor sequencing instrument, and novel systems for analyzing genomic data.

"With this agreement, we are taking the next major step in delivering on the promise of personalized medicine for all cancer patients," Michael Seiden, president and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center, said in a statement. "By coupling Life Technologies' leading-edge sequencing instruments with Fox Chase's broad scientific and clinical expertise, we expect to be among the leaders in advancing toward this goal."

The institute, which will be based in a new facility on the Fox Chase Campus, is expected to launch this fall.

The first initiative will be a discovery project using selected tumors, and it will be followed by a clinical service that will use Life Technologies' sequencing to analyze a tumor and provide genomic information to a patient's oncologists. The expectation is that this genomic tumor information could be used to guide treatment or direct the patient into appropriate new drug trials.

The genomic data knowledge that the sequencing program generates will be used to create a database that will link tumor genotype, oncologists' targeted therapeutic recommendations, and the patients' outcome. All of that data will be made available to the clinical oncology community at large, but patient identity will be protected.

The database will build on Fox Chase's Biosample Repository, and it will be used to accelerate the development of new cancer treatments being studied in the cancer center's phase I clinical trials program.

"We expect this model of industry and academic collaboration to demonstrate the effectiveness of sequencing in improving patient care," said Life Technologies CEO and Chairman Greg Lucier.

The Cancer Genome Institute will be directed by Jeff Boyd, Fox Chase's senior VP for molecular medicine, and its chief scientific officer will be Navigenics Co-founder Dietrich Stephan, who also is CEO of the Institute for Individualized Health.

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