December 1, 2016 | by City of Hope
City of Hope and Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a nonprofit genomics research institute, have joined forces to accelerate cures for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Central to the alliance is precision medicine, which involves studying individual variations in genes, environment and lifestyle in order to develop targeted diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases.
In this Q and A, Steven T. Rosen, M.D., provost and chief scientific officer for City of Hope, answers questions about the importance of precision of medicine in the fight against cancer and how the City of Hope and TGen alliance will advance research and treatment using this approach.
Why has City of Hope formed an alliance with TGen?
City of Hope’s alliance with TGen brings together brilliant scientists that are at the forefront of unraveling the genetic abnormalities in cancer. This will allow us to then make the most precise therapeutic decisions for our patients.
TGen has incredible capabilities in applying genomic analysis and bioinformatics – the collection and analysis of genetic data – to targeted drug development. Our alliance will allow us to conduct both discovery research and clinical applications that directly benefit patients.
Why is precision medicine so crucial in the race to find better cancer treatments?
Precision medicine recognizes that each individual’s cancer is unique and that the approach to their cancer treatment is necessarily unique as well. The very exciting advances in the last few years have allowed us to better define the ideal therapy for a patient. City of Hope is at the forefront of precision medicine, particularly in the area of blood cancers and across the spectrum of cancers that affect humanity. TGen is a leader in molecular cancer research. Working together, both institutions will further propel us to the forefront as national leaders in precision medicine.
How will this alliance bolster precision medicine at both institutions?
The alliance brings together scientists on both campuses, as well as clinicians, who have a great deal of experience in drug development and the advancement of therapeutics. Our goals include making precision medicine more accessible to more patients by accelerating the “bench-to-bedside” continuum and speeding molecular-based discoveries into clinical trials that will create more novel therapies and save lives.
How will this alliance impact City of Hope patients?
City of Hope and TGen will develop what’s known as a Personalized Hope program. This is a comprehensive program that will focus on our strengths – patient care and genomics – to detect disease sooner, and improve patient quality of life and survival. We will also focus on immunotherapy and genomics to gain new insights into immune function and expand opportunities for new interventions.