CHICAGO, Nov. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tempus, a technology company focused on helping doctors personalize cancer care by collecting and analyzing large volumes of molecular and clinical data, along with Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Washington, D.C., and John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack Meridian HealthHackensack University Medical Center announce a new research collaboration aimed at identifying which patients will respond positively to immunotherapy treatment, the next generation of cancer care.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that harnesses the power of the patient’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. Immunotherapy stimulates a patient’s own immune system to work harder or smarter to attack cancer cells. This therapy is part of the broader strategy of precision medicine, which takes into account the type of cancer, a person’s genetic makeup and other factors to tailor treatment for the best outcomes with the least side effects.
“In oncology, datasets have been small and disorganized, making it impossible to realize the promise of precision medicine,” said Eric Lefkofsky, Founder and CEO at Tempus. “Tempus has spent the last two years building a series of data pipelines to collect, cleanse, and analyze data, at scale, to support the efforts of physicians and researchers on the frontlines of care.”
As part of a research collaboration to evaluate the genomic profiles of patients with thymic carcinoma and non-small cell lung cancer who have been treated with immunotherapies, investigators at both institutions will provide tumor samples to Tempus who will then conduct next generation sequencing services and analysis. The aim of the collaboration will be to assess the genomic differences between cancer patients who have responded favorably to immunotherapy and those who did not. The information gathered can help point toward clues that will help identify patients who are good candidates for immunotherapy.
This new collaboration is part of the trend toward value-based care, which improves clinical outcomes and reduces cancer-care costs through precise classification of illness and smarter use of data.
The immunotherapy platform that Tempus has built is one of the most comprehensive immunology platforms available. The Tempus platform is driven by a state of the art integrative molecular profiling approach that uses both DNA and RNA data, along with immunohistochemistry and TCR sequencing, allowing physicians to look at specific gene alterations and mutational burden as well as immune infiltration, HLA type, neoantigen predictions, and immunotherapy targets.
“This exciting venture is the perfect union of the best in technology and the most promising breakthroughs in cancer treatment,’’ said Andre Goy, M.D., chairman and director, John Theurer Cancer Center. “It allows us to apply precision medicine to the booming field of immunotherapy enhancing our ability to provide patients with the best care possible.’’
“Immunotherapy treatment has shown great promise; however, not everyone with cancer is an ideal candidate,” said Martin E. Gutierrez M.D., director of the Drug Discovery and Phase 1 Unit at John Theurer Cancer Center. “Our collaboration with Tempus will support physicians’ work to determine whether this treatment is right for their patients.”
“It’s critical to develop tools that allow oncologists to determine if a patient will benefit from immunotherapy for their specific tumor and this collaborative project gets us closer to that goal,” said Giuseppe Giaccone, M.D., Ph.D., associate director for clinical research at Georgetown Lombardi. “We want to make sure patients are offered the best treatment options from the start, so we don’t lose time and patients avoid potential side effects of treatments as well as unnecessary expenses of therapies that don’t benefit them.”
The John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, and Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., have combined forces to take on cancer. Through their research partnership and shared goal of becoming an NCI-designated cancer research consortium, the two institutions are evaluating cancer treatments such as immunotherapy to enhance patient outcomes.
With collaborations already in place with leading hospitals across the country, the Tempus platform offers physicians, and patients, the world’s largest library of clinical and molecular data to personalize and improve cancer care.
Tempus is a technology company that is building the world’s largest library of molecular and clinical data and an operating system to make that data accessible and useful. We enable physicians to deliver personalized cancer care for patients through our interactive analytical and machine learning platform. We provide genomic sequencing services and analyze molecular and therapeutic data to empower physicians to make real-time, data-driven decisions. Our goal is for each patient to benefit from the treatment of others who came before by providing physicians with tools that learn as we gather more data. For more information, visit tempus.com and follow us on Facebook (Tempus Labs) and Twitter (@TempusLabs). For more information on Eric Lefkofsky, visit lefkofsky.com.