"We now have the ability to do robust, 'next-generation' gene sequencing on blood and tissue samples, with tremendous possibilities in terms of what we can learn diagnostically, prognostically, therapeutically," says Candace Johnson, PhD, Deputy Director of Roswell Park and co-leader of three recently launched clinical research studies that rely on CPM resources. "This is the future of medicine — across all diseases, not just in oncology."CTG (NASDAQ: CTGX), a Buffalo-based company that is one of the largest U.S. healthcare IT companies and has developed leading bioinformatics computing and software, has played a major role in the development of the CPM, providing significant strategic direction and intending to contribute $2.5 million toward its development. Over the last 25 years, CTG has provided healthcare IT, operational and strategic consulting support to over 600 healthcare organizations. CTG employs nearly 400 of its 3,800 employees in Western New York. "We needed a technology partner with healthcare and bioinformatics expertise that could guide us from the concept stage, when we were mapping out how to best put these new informatics technologies to work, to the implementation stage, getting us to the position where we are able to deliver personalized medicine quickly and cost-effectively. And were fortunate to find a resource in CTG that brought all those strengths and also happened to be located just a few blocks away," says Donald L. Trump, MD, Roswell Park President and CEO. "CTG has a longstanding relationship with Roswell Park, and great respect for their innovation in cancer research and care. As one of the nation's leading comprehensive cancer centers, Roswell Park is uniquely positioned to leverage its genomics assets and expertise to be at the forefront of the advancement and delivery of personalized medicine. CTG is very proud to be providing EMR expertise, bioinformatics, and clinical analytics to Roswell Park's genomics initiative to enable delivery of the highest level of personalized care for cancer patients in a clinical environment," said CTG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James R. Boldt. The Center's first sequencing projects represent a three-pronged translational research initiative. RPCI has launched clinical research studies that set out to:
- Predict on a case-by-case, personalized basis which of the two main types of standard chemotherapy, anthracycline-based or platinum-based, will be most effective in treating a woman's breast cancer, and with fewest adverse side effects;
- Develop, in collaboration with Western New York Urology Associates, a diagnostic test for superficial bladder cancer, the ninth most common cancer in the U.S. and the most expensive of all cancers in terms of cost to treat; and
- Engage 600 healthy volunteers representing the ethnic, racial, socioeconomic and geographic diversity of the eight-county Western New York region in an initiative to identify the particular healthcare priorities of this community, aided by a mobile tissue-collection unit that will travel to disparate and underserved areas.
- In addition, RPCI expects to use the resources of the CPM in planning individualized care for its lung, melanoma and leukemia patients in the near future.