IRIVNG, Texas, Aug. 12, 2014 – Doctors at the LSU Health Shreveport Feist-Weiller Cancer Center will now have access to innovative, precision-medicine technology that determines the unique biological characteristics of each individual patient’s cancer tumor. Once that information is known, physicians can identify tailored chemotherapy or radiation regimens to attack it. The new capability is the result of emerging technology called tumor profiling. Feist-Weiller will partner with Caris Life Sciences to offer the breakthrough technology to cancer patients of University Health Shreveport, a clinical partner of the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine.
The region’s first clinical molecular profiling program will use Caris’ industry leading comprehensive tumor profiling service, Caris Molecular Intelligence TM, to enhance the clinical and research expertise of Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. It will expand the center’s personalized medicine approach to care and offer more precise treatment planning for patients. The partnership with Caris also includes clinical support, patient and physician education and system integration. It also creates a forum to pursue joint research opportunities.
“As the only institution in a 250-mile radius to offer these capabilities, our partnership with Caris is critical to providing more precise, personalized care for cancer patients treated at our Center each year,” said Glenn Mills, MD FACP, Professor & Director of Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. “This type of technology is integral to better understanding the unique molecular characteristics of a patient’s disease, which enables more targeted treatment planning.”
Cherie-Ann O. Nathan, M.D., FACS, Chairman and Professor, Director of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Research, believes this molecular profiling program will elevate not only the level of clinical care for patients, but also the Center’s research programs.
“Organ preservation using radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy is often used as an alternative to surgery for advanced stage disease. However, radiation resistance in head and neck cancer often results in failure to respond to therapy,” said Dr. Nathan. “Feist-Weiller Cancer Center is the first to molecularly profile radiation resistant genes with Caris to identify potential patients who may not benefit from radiation therapy or would benefit from alternative radiosensitizing chemotherapy.”
In recent years, molecular profiling has become a valuable tool for oncologists when making treatment decisions for patients with difficult-to-treat and/or rare and aggressive cancers. Caris Molecular Intelligence correlates the molecular data from a tumor with biomarker/drug associations from the latest clinical and scientific literature on cancer. This information is used to recommend therapies more or less likely to benefit the patient. It will also identify potential clinical trials for the patient. The system uses traditional pathology analysis methods, along with more-recently developed DNA sequencing technologies.
“Every day, oncologists make critical decisions about clinical care that demand the most accurate, actionable and reliable data available, based upon each patient’s unique tumor,” said David D. Halbert, Chairman and CEO of Caris Life Sciences. “As the leader in comprehensive tumor profiling for cancer, we are pleased to partner with LSU’s Feist-Weiller Cancer Center and their experts to create a molecular profiling program that will offer this cutting edge treatment information – information which can help patients better battle their disease.”
About Caris Life Sciences
Caris Life Sciences is a leading biosciences company focused on fulfilling the promise of personalized medicine. As the first commercial mover in comprehensive molecular profiling in oncology, Caris Molecular Intelligence™ is an industry vanguard, with 65,000-plus patients profiled and counting. Ordered by nearly 7,000 oncologists in 63 countries, Molecular Intelligence correlates molecular data generated from a patient’s tumor with biomarker/drug associations derived from clinical cancer literature. Using a variety of advanced and clinically-relevant technologies, Caris provides oncologists with the most clinically actionable information to help them personalize treatment for cancer patients. This multi-technology approach enables Caris to provide therapeutic guidance for 55 drug associations, compared to the 19 that can be found through use of next-generation sequencing alone. The company is also developing a series of blood tests based on its proprietary Carisome® platform — a revolutionary blood-based testing technology for diagnosis, prognosis, and theranosis of cancer and other complex diseases. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Caris Life Sciences offers services throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and other international markets. To learn more, please visit www.carislifesciences.com.
About Feist-Weiller Cancer Center
Feist-Weiller Cancer Center has the largest hematology-oncology practice in Louisiana, following over 8,000 University Health cancer patients. Formed as a Center of Excellence for Cancer Research, Treatment and Education in 1993, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center is able to offer patients the latest therapies and drugs through the Center’s translational cancer care philosophy combining basic sciences cancer research with clinical problems. Additionally, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center as a division of LSU Health, operates one of the largest hematology-oncology fellowship programs in the Southeast United State with 16 fellows. Through FWCC’s Partnership in Wellness Program free cancer screening are available through North Louisiana. For more information, visit www.feistweiller.org.