John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is working with Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC), Irvine, Calif, to establish a state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing (NGS) laboratory for molecular profiling. Located at the cancer center, the laboratory will serve the physicians of Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), a network of cancer care professionals in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Theurer Cancer Center will perform molecular profiling of the cancers in all of its patients with solid tumors or blood cancers, adapting highly validated tests developed by GTC. Paired DNA and RNA profiling is increasingly employed in genomics research to uncover molecular mechanisms underlying the development and progression of disease and to explore personal genotype and phenotype correlations. The results of testing at the new laboratory will facilitate precision medicine by matching patients with therapies that target the molecular abnormalities driving the growth of their cancers.

“Collaborations such as these demonstrate the commitment of the Hackensack Meridian Health system to improving the care of people with cancer, one of the country’s most common illnesses and a leading cause of death in the United States,” says Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “Technologies such as next-generation sequencing with DNA and RNA profiling put us at the forefront of cancer care and research.”

“We are delighted to be working with the team at GTC. We selected GTC tests because of the significant diligence and scientific rigor used in their development,” says David S. Siegel, MD, PhD, chief of the myeloma division at the Theurer Cancer Center and founding director of the institute for multiple myeloma at the Hackensack Meridian center for discovery and innovation. “We believe that profiling both RNA and DNA in cancers is crucial—not only for increasing accuracy and providing thorough evaluation, but also for innovation and the development of new clinical research approaches.”

“Given the increasing number of novel therapies, particularly targeted therapies in solid tumors, having the ability to identify ‘mutation drivers’ that help us make healthcare decisions is becoming an increasingly routine practice in oncology,” says Martin Gutierrez, MD, head of thoracic oncology at the Theurer Cancer Center. “Real-world experience have shown that this genomic information should be used more frequently to improve patients’ outcomes.”

“Working with John Theurer Cancer Center to establish an NGS laboratory at a patient care site aligns with our mission as a cooperative company focused on making high-quality molecular profiling available and affordable for every patient with cancer,” says Maher Albitar, MD, chief executive officer and chief medical officer at GTC.

More than 30,000 new cancer patients are treated by RCCA physicians annually. Theurer Cancer Center participates in more than 350 ongoing clinical trials.

For more information, visit Genomic Testing Cooperative.