(Cleveland) – Imagine a molecular test that could better determine how to treat an individual’s cancerous tumor.

Select patients at Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center will have the opportunity to have their tumors analyzed for genetic mutations that could influence their treatments.

For the next year, cancer patients with one of 15 specific solid tumors with historically poor prognosis or limited treatment options will have the opportunity to participate in a study. Their tissue samples will be sent for targeted genetic sequencing to Foundation Medicine, a molecular information company specializing in comprehensive genomic analysis of tumors.

Participating patients’ tissue samples will be analyzed with a test that examines more than 230 cancer-related genes to provide information on the tumor’s genomic composition and identifies genomic alterations that could guide treatment.

Once the analysis is complete, an independent team of Taussig Cancer Institute oncologists will review the results and recommend a personalized treatment plan which could include chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapies and/or participation in a clinical trial that may benefit the patient.

“Personalized medicine is changing the way we treat cancer,” says Davendra Sohal, M.D., M.P.H., staff physician in the department of Solid Tumor Oncology at Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute and principal investigator. “Knowing the specific genomic composition of a tumor may allow us to create precise, individual treatment plans for patients rather than relying on standard treatments that may be ineffective and may result in unnecessary treatment costs.”

Dr. Sohal talked with WTAM's Darren Toms:

“This is a very exciting time in cancer research,” says Brian J. Bolwell, M.D., FACP, chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute. “This type of personalized cancer medicine can help patients with recurrent cancers or with cancers that do not respond well to current treatment protocols. Through this collaboration, we can give patients more treatment options than ever before.”

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