Five more cancer centers and their affiliate hospitals recently joined the Strata Precision Oncology Network, a collaboration platform that aims too match cancer patients with relevant clinical trials.

A total of 50 hospitals are now participating in the Strata network, cooperating in research and serving more than 70,000 patients annually. The program is aligned with the Precision Medicine Initiative, a long-term research endeavor, involving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and multiple other research centers, which aims to understand how a person's genetics, environment and lifestyle can help determine the best approach to prevent or treat disease

The network offers advanced solid tumor and lymphoma patients profiling and matching to a portfolio of biomarker-matched clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical firms.

“We are pleased that this clinical trial will allow us to offer routine, no-cost tumor sequencing to patients with advanced cancer,” says Mark Burkard, M.D., an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin. “By addressing key barriers to patient participation, we hope to enable increased access to precision medicine clinical trials.\

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Participating providers have adopted a test, called the StrataNGS, which is an 87-gene assay that sequences DNA and RNA to identify patients who are appropriate candidates for targeted therapies.

Pharmaceutical firms get access to stratified patient populations, which shorten clinical development timelines and can accelerate approval of new cancer medicines with a goal of profiling 25,000 patients annually.

“This partnership will give our patients the opportunity to participate in precision medicine clinical trials without leaving the state of Delaware,” says Nicholas Petrelli, M.D., medical director at the Christiana Care Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. “Tumor profiling is becoming the state-of-the-art" in cancer treatment, propelled by advances in information technology and databases that support patient records and matching initiatives.

The five new participating cancer centers include University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, Kettering Health Network and Ochsner Health System.

They join existing participants that include University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Metro Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium.

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