NGS lab established for precision genomic profiling of cancers, adapting DNA/RNA testing

June 1, 2020

The John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC), at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, and Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC), Irvine, CA, announced an agreement to establish a state-of-the-art, next generation sequencing (NGS) laboratory for molecular profiling. This NGS laboratory, located at John Theurer Cancer Center, will serve all physicians within Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), a network of cancer care professionals in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland.

As a member of the NCI-approved Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium, the John Theurer Cancer Center will perform molecular profiling of all cancers in its patients with solid tumors or blood cancers. The results of such profiling will facilitate precision medicine: matching patients with therapies that target the molecular abnormalities driving the growth of their cancers. This molecular profiling will drive the expansion of the cancer center’s innovation and dedication to advancing the science of oncology practice in the community.

The John Theurer Cancer Center NGS laboratory will adapt highly validated tests developed by GTC for DNA and RNA profiling. Paired DNA and RNA profiling is increasingly employed in genomics research to uncover molecular mechanisms underlying the development and progression of disease and to explore personal genotype and phenotype correlations.

Maher Albitar, MD, chief executive officer and chief medical officer at GTC, stated, "Working with John Theurer Cancer Center to establish an NGS laboratory at a patient care site aligns with our mission as a cooperative company focused on making high-quality molecular profiling available and affordable for every patient with cancer. Furthermore, this collaboration will allow GTC to co-develop new tests with John Theurer Cancer Center by utilizing clinical and outcomes data from John Theurer Cancer Center, which will accelerate innovation in oncology and result in better patient care.”

"When you help one person overcome cancer, you make life better for their families, friends, and coworkers, too," explained Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center and executive vice president of Population Health, Hackensack Meridian Health. "Bringing a tool like NGS into the routine care of people with cancer can improve lives — and by extension, entire communities."

More than 30,000 new cancer patients are treated by RCCA physicians annually. John Theurer Cancer Center participates in more than 350 ongoing clinical trials.

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