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Life Technologies, Research Partners Launch Cancer Care Alliance

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies said after the close of the market Thursday that it has teamed with three research centers to form the Genomic Cancer Care Alliance.

The alliance aims to help people with cancer gain access to better treatment options through analysis of their genomic information. In addition to Life Technologies, the founding partners of the alliance include Fox Chase Cancer Center, Scripps Genomic Medicine, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

"This is a groundbreaking initiative for oncologists and their patients that should demonstrate how whole-genome sequencing with analytics and counseling can identify a treatment plan customized specifically for each seriously ill patient," Paul Billings, director and chief scientific officer of the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital and chief medical officer of the new alliance, said in a statement released by Life Technologies.

The GCCA will launch a pilot study to determine whether whole-genome sequencing can better guide treatment decisions across a number of cancers that are difficult to treat, said Life Technologies. The partners expect US Oncology to serve as the contract research and site management organization for the study.

The study will build on earlier research conducted by Life Technologies, TGen, and US Oncology, which sequenced the genomes of 14 patients diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer whose tumors have progressed despite multiple other therapies. In contrast to the breast cancer trial, Life Technologies said that the pilot study will be the first one to evaluate the use of whole-genome sequencing information in guiding treatment decisions across a wide range of cancer types.

The GCCA plans to begin enrolling patients late this year and likely will focus on advanced cancer patients who have failed initial rounds of therapy. Researchers will use Life Technologies SOLiD sequencing platform, and the results will be validated by a CLIA-certified lab and interpreted by TGen and Omicia, a personalized medicine company focused on interpreting genome sequences for clinical applications.

"We strongly believe that genome sequencing will allow physicians to treat their patients not just based on the type of cancer they have, but on the biological pathways that led to mutations, which ultimately resulted in the development of cancer," Life Technologies Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said in the statement.

Life Technologies announced the new alliance at the Consumer Genetics Conference being held this week in Boston.

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