Eastern Maine Medical Center and JAX Genomic Medicine start clinical trial of JAX Cancer Treatment Profile™

Genetic analysis to offer critical insights to new treatment options for difficult-to-treat cancers

06/18/2015

(Farmington, Conn., and Brewer, Maine) -- Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) Cancer Care is working with The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine (JAX GM) to conduct a clinical observation study of the JAX Cancer Treatment Profile for solid-tumor patients without standard treatment options. 

Patients eligible for the trial will have their tumors’ DNA profile analyzed in the clinical diagnostics laboratory at JAX GM. Based on DNA sequencing data and a painstaking gene curation process, a custom report will be issued by JAX GM that can be used by EMMC Cancer Care doctors and their patients in constructing a treatment plan.

“JAX Genomic Medicine is eager to work with EMMC Cancer Care to unlock new treatment options for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers,” commented Greg Tsongalis, Ph.D., clinical laboratory director at JAX GM and JAX’s principal investigator for the clinical study. “The oncologists and clinical research staff at EMMC have been tremendously helpful in defining key elements of study design to maximize our learning from this investigation.”  

Therapeutic regimens for patients newly diagnosed with common tumors are typically outlined in treatment guidelines provided by professional medical societies like the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) or the National Comprehensive Cancer Center Network (NCCN), with specific choices determined by the expertise and judgment of the oncologist and guided by the needs of the individual patient. For patients with rare tumors or tumors of unknown origin there are no such guidelines. For patients whose tumors have not responded to standard treatments or those whose disease has become resistant to these therapies, the analysis of their tumor’s genetic makeup may offer helpful insights into next steps, including both FDA-approved regimens and clinical trials of drugs still in development.

The JAX Cancer Treatment Profile closely evaluates 358 genes in the solid tumor biopsy specimens of patients who are seeking DNA-based insights into their disease and potential new treatment options. This test panel assesses all genetic changes and identifies those that have been documented to affect response or resistance to FDA-approved therapies or new drugs in development. Test results are included in a clinical report, along with their associations with approved drugs and drugs in open clinical trials.

EMMC Cancer Care is accredited through the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as Maine's only Comprehensive Community Cancer Program with Commendation, offering many national clinical trials locally. EMMC Cancer Care’s experienced oncologists  are joined by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, patient advocates, and many others who all work together to develop the optimal cancer treatment plan customized for each patient and personalized for the specifics of their disease. EMMC Cancer Care's modern facility  is equipped with the most advanced cancer treatment technology in northern New England as well as private and shared sunlit treatment spaces, where families are invited to join their loved ones receiving treatment.

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine has established a clinical diagnostics laboratory, a crucial step in its expansion into human healthcare, enabling the institution to provide medical test results that inform patient care.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and the new genomic medicine institute in Farmington, Conn. It employs 1,700 staff, and its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.