Newswise — HACKENSACK, N.J. AND IRVINE, C.A., April 28, 2021 —Patients at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center now have access to state-of-the-art genomic profiling through a newly established on-site lab called Key Genomics. The laboratory is the result of a collaboration between Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) and Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC) in Irvine, CA. It will serve physicians within Regional Cancer Care Associates, a network of cancer professionals in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland.
GTC has developed highly validated tests for DNA, as well as RNA profiling. These tests are transferred and validated at Key Genomics Laboratory and will be performed in real-time at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. This will help physicians choose better, refined and personalized therapy for JTCC cancer patients.
As the premier cancer program in New Jersey, John Theurer Cancer Center will perform molecular profiling of all solid tumors or hematologic cancers, where it can help treatment decisions.
“This is a unique, one-of-a kind collaboration to advance patient care and drive innovation. JTCC is leading in implementing a multidisciplinary approach to precision medicine. GTC is delighted to be a part of the team in this approach” said Maher Albitar, M.D., chief executive officer and chief medical officer at GTC. “The offered tests are designed to confirm diagnosis, predict prognosis, and help physicians in selecting the correct therapies and help to monitor minimal residual disease.”
“As the leading cancer program in New Jersey, the John Theurer Cancer Center offers the latest therapies, including phase I clinical trials. With the explosion of novel therapies now available or in the pipeline, the future of cancer requires taking into consideration the remarkable variance of the cancer genetic make-up of tumors among patients. This explains why patients react differently to treatments and hence have different outcomes,” said Andre Goy, M.D., physician-in-chief for Oncology at Hackensack Meridian Health. “With the ability, we can test patients’ molecular differences, will help stratify patients and customize treatment decisions as well as monitor patients’ response including measuring minimal residual disease (beyond imaging and standard blood work). The development of clinically actionable tests using a dual DNA and RNA signature along with artificial intelligence is key to implement precise medicine in both blood cancers and solid tumors.”
DNA is the blueprint for all genetic information in the body; RNA converts genetic information from DNA to build proteins. Often in cancer, mutations in genes lead to defective proteins that can trigger cancer development, cause cancers to become resistant to treatment, or make them spread further. Profiling both DNA and RNA in a patient with cancer can provide more information than DNA testing alone regarding the cancer origin, biology, and clinical behavior as well as the response of the immune system of the patient to the cancer.
The testing will include 434 genes for DNA and more than 1400 genes for RNA for solid tumors and 177 genes for DNA and over 1400 genes for RNA for hematologic tumors. Liquid biopsy testing includes 275 genes.
More than 35,000 cancer patients are treated annually at John Theurer Cancer Center. The center participates in more than 350 ongoing clinical trials.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HACKENSACK UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Hackensack University Medical Center, a 771-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in New Jersey. Founded in 1888 as Bergen County's first hospital, it was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence. The academic flagship of Hackensack Meridian Health, Hackensack University Medical Center's campus is home to facilities such as John Theurer Cancer Center, the Heart & Vascular Hospital, and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion. Recognized as being in the top 1% of hospitals in the nation and #2 in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll, Hackensack University Medical Center also ranked as high-performing in cancer care, cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. Hackensack University Medical Center’s comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development.
ABOUT JOHN THEURER CANCER CENTER HACKENSACK UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey's best cancer center, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report. As premier cancer center in the State we are also the largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screening, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. The 16 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care have developed a close-knit team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center. Housed within a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care, and research hospital, John Theurer Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art technological advances, compassionate care, research innovations, medical expertise, and a full range of aftercare services that distinguish John Theurer Cancer Center from other facilities. For additional information, please visit www.jtcancercenter.org.
About Regional Cancer Care Associates
With more than 100 cancer specialists practicing at 20+ care centers located throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the Washington, DC area, RCCA provides care to roughly 24,500 new cancer patients and 245,000 established patients each year. RCCA offers those patients immunotherapy, targeted treatment, cell-based therapy and other cutting-edge treatments and diagnostic modalities, as well as access to clinical trials. RCCA is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM), a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment. To learn more about RCCA or to schedule an appointment, call (844) 474-6866 or visit www.RCCA.com.
ABOUT GENOMIC TESTING COOPERATIVE, LCA
Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC) is a privately-owned molecular testing company located in Irvine, CA. The company operates based on a cooperative (co-op) business model. Members of the co-op hold type A shares with voting rights. The company offers its patron members a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling based mainly on next generation sequencing. The co-op model allows GTC to make the testing and information platform available to members at a lower cost because of a lower overhead. For more information, please visit https://genomictestingcooperative.com/.