A collaboration announced today between the Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) and Foundation Medicine will seek to improve precision medicine for cancer patients at Sarah Cannon sites while also more precisely matching patients to ongoing and new cancer clinical trials.
Under the agreement, Sarah Cannon researchers at its community-based clinics in the U.S. will collect results from Foundation Medicine’s comprehensive genomic profiling assays that include FoundationOne for solid tumors, FoundationOne Heme for hematologic malignancies, and FoundationACT for use as a liquid biopsy. Patients’ genomic information from these tests will then be used to match them with any appropriate clinical trials. SCRI will also integrate Foundation Medicine’s clinical decision support tool, Integrative Cancer Explorer, across its clinical sites to provide easier sharing of clinical genomic information among researchers and to provide clinicians with information geared toward improving patient access to precision therapies.
“Our physicians are at the forefront of clinical research through our work with novel investigative therapies,” said Howard A. “Skip” Burris, M.D., president, clinical operations and chief medical officer, Sarah Cannon. “Clinical trials, particularly those where patients can be molecularly matched to a study, are an integral part of effectively treating many types of cancers and accelerating patient access to novel therapies.”
In addition to genomic screening and matching, the two organizations have entered a master research program agreement to develop research studies and clinical programs designed to evaluate how to best integrate these technologies within a clinical environment.
“Precision medicine in cancer can be achieved by innovating new ideas that accelerate patient access to novel compounds in development,” said Steven Kafka, president and COO of Foundation Medicine. “Together with Sarah Cannon, we believe we are in a unique position to eliminate roadblocks to patient access, to integrate genomics knowledge into clinical pathways and to extend that knowledge across the cancer care continuum to accelerate research and drive better outcomes for all patients.”
To maximize the relationship, Sarah Cannon and Foundation Medicine will also develop training and education programs specifically focused on precision medicine, a program that will include Sarah Cannon’s Nurse Navigator program, a personalized support program for nurse management of many aspects of cancer care.
SCRI is the research arm of Sarah Cannon, a global cancer institute that is part of the Hospital Corporation of America. SCRI comprises 57 local sites in 24 states and the United Kingdom. Founded in 2004, the research institute’s goal is to provide cancer patients across its areas of operation with cutting-edge cancer care that is closer to their home community. According to information posted on its website, SCRI’s partnerships with pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies result in it offering more than 500 clinical trials each year primarily in oncology, cardiology, and gastroenterology.