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New Releases: Mar 9, 2011


Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Genomic Health each launched web-based decision-support tools for cancer this week.

VICC's portal, called "My Cancer Genome," is designed to help physicians and researchers track the latest developments in personalized cancer medicine and identify clinical research trials that may be relevant for their patients.

The resource "is designed to quickly educate clinicians on the rapidly expanding list of genetic mutations that impact different cancers and, at the same time, enable them to more easily research various treatment options based on specific mutations," VICC said.

The portal currently includes data on lung cancer and melanoma. VICC plans to add content on breast, colon, and other cancers in a few months.

"Staying abreast of … fast-paced research changes may be difficult for time-pressed oncologists and medical caregivers. In particular, knowledge about rare variants found in cancers may be hard to track down, especially in busy clinics," William Pao, director of personalized cancer medicine at VICC, said in a statement. "We launched this web-based tool to enable a genetically informed approach to cancer medicine that we believe can be more efficient and effective."

My Cancer Genome is linked to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s StarPanel electronic medical record database. When researchers at the center test a patient’s tumor for specific mutations, the test results stay in the medical record, "so as new treatment options become available for each mutation, our physicians will have that information at their fingertips,” VICC said.

VICC said that patients can also use the portal to learn more about their cancer.

Genomic Health's release, meantime, developed in partnership with Fight Colorectal Cancer, is called My Colon Cancer Coach and is targeted specifically at newly diagnosed colon cancer patients.

The resource "empowers patients with individualized information based on a number of key clinical questions to engage in a more knowledgeable dialogue and an active role with their healthcare team," the company said.

The tool walks patients through a questionnaire with audio guidance "to help them better understand key colon cancer terms and important information about their diagnosis." It then creates a customized report for patients to share with their doctor as they discuss treatment options.

The resource joins My Breast Cancer Coach, a similar tool for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients that the company launched last year (PGx Reporter 11/10/2010).

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.