PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia Coalition for a Cure (PC4C), a newly launched cooperative clinical diagnostics and research initiative announced that it will collaborate in a study together with Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) directed to the study and diagnosis of adult and pediatric brain tumors.
To support the study, CHOC and PC4C members selected NantHealth, Inc., (NASDAQ: NH), a leading next-generation, evidence-based, personalized healthcare company, to supply participating study researchers with its comprehensive molecular profiling and diagnostics test, GPS Cancer, to better inform treatment strategies for patients with brain tumors and further share these data with the worldwide research community. The PC4C consists of members from the Division of Neurosurgery and Center for Data Driven Discovery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); Hyundai Cancer Institute at the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), and the neurosurgical departments of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University; the Drexel University College of Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
"Brain tumors can occur at any age, and can be found in anyone. They are the leading cause of disease-related death in children and this year alone more than 20,000 adults will be newly diagnosed with brain tumors" said Dr. Jay Storm, M.D., Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Through the PC4C, CHOP, CHOC and the leading adult Philadelphia institutions are coming together to define a new clinical and research collaborative ecosystem that harnesses partnerships among leading academic centers, commercial partners and payers in order do what needs to be done on behalf of patients – identify therapies and accelerate discovery. With the guidance of the GPS Cancer test, neurosurgeons, oncologists and the many others who are making influential decisions are newly empowered because of the level and depth of information that this product brings. Together we're embarking on an incredibly exciting journey toward revolutionizing cancer care."
GPS Cancer™ is a unique, molecular scan available through NantHealth. GPS Cancer integrates whole genome (DNA) sequencing, whole transcriptome (RNA) sequencing, and quantitative proteomics through mass spectrometry, providing oncologists with a comprehensive molecular profile of a patient's cancer and an assessment of protein pathway function to inform personalized treatment strategies. GPS Cancer scanning is conducted in CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratories, and is a key enabler for Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, the world's most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 will continue to work with the PC4C to further its reach toward onboarding key stakeholders in the cancer community to fight and win the war against cancer. The PC4C, in its commitment to testing and vetting leading edge technologies through clinical trials, aligns with the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program's Quantitative Integrative Lifelong Trial (QUILT) which is designed to evaluate novel combinations of immunotherapies with the goal of achieving durable, long-lasting remission for patients with cancer.
"The current standard of treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with brain tumors remains along the callous path of chemotherapy and/or radiation," stated Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., founder and CEO at NantHealth and leader of the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 initiative. "Our goal in elevating the potential of combination immunotherapy as the new paradigm of cancer care is so that oncologists can offer their patients a less rigid therapy and one that is targeted at the patient's unique biology to harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer the way it was designed to do. GPS Cancer is an incredibly comprehensive test that provides oncologists with the peace of mind that they are making the most informed decisions before developing a treatment plan. We are excited to see these leading cancer institutions research and identify individualized treatment options for patients with brain tumors, and we expect this alliance to help allow us to establish an improved platform of discovery to inform precise therapeutic decisions for adult and pediatric brain tumor patients."
As another foundational member of the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 initiative and the first major insurer to provide coverage for the GPS Cancer test, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) currently offers their eligible members (with certain cancers and who fit specific criteria) coverage of the GPS Cancer test. Through PC4C the costs for the test will also be covered for non-Independence insured brain tumor patients through grant support of the research study. As the leading health insurer in the region, Independence is committed to supporting local innovation and collaborations that work to reduce the toll deadly cancers take on its members and the community at large.
"We believe rapid advances in technology, our understanding of cancer genetics, and the development of targeted therapies, hold great promise and could potentially change the approach to cancer care in the next decade," said Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO, of Independence Blue Cross. "The GPS Cancer test and the innovative work being done by NantHealth and PC4C arms our oncologists with new data which we are hopeful will offer one more option to help inform a personalized effective treatment plan for their patients. Independence is proud to be part of this initiative that is bringing together our region's oncology community and leading pediatric institutions to advance cancer research and to truly put the patient at the center of care."
In addition to initiating clinical research studies, PC4C institutions will work together to advance data-driven discovery through the rapid sharing and release of data to the entire research community through open science initiatives. All patient-consented data for the PC4C will be accessible to the research community via Cavatica (cavatica.org), a newly launched biomedical data analysis and storage platform that for the first time will integrate adult and pediatric brain tumor data. These efforts leverage the recently launched Children's Brain Tumor Atlas initiative, another large-scale Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 data initiative. "This collaborative initiative between Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 members and PC4C member institutions and our shared commitment to accelerating discovery through data empowerment on behalf of patients is poised to transform care for brain tumor patients by generating the largest, accessible, genomic data cohort for discovery in brain tumors across all ages," said Adam Resnick, Ph.D., director of the Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine at CHOP. "Only through an authentic commitment to rapid, and comprehensive data sharing will true progress be made. Together, members of the PC4C look forward to further expanding their collaboration network to develop additional clinical trial protocols, carefully studying elements such as standard of care, leading edge technologies like GPS Cancer, patient selection criteria, and appropriate combinations of targeted and immunotherapy approaches.
Principal investigators of this initiative include:
Phillip B. Storm, M.D. and Adam C. Resnick, Ph.D., Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine
Michael W. Weaver, M.D., Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
M. Sean Grady, M.D., Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
David W. Andrews, M.D., Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Alan R. Turtz, M.D., Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Erol Veznedaroglu, M.D., Drexel University College of Medicine
Ashley Plant, MD, Children's Hospital of Orange County
About The Philadelphia Coalition for a Cure (PC4C)
The Philadelphia Coalition for a Cure (PC4C) is a regional collaboration spanning across academic and healthcare systems for assessing, promoting and facilitating the use of leading technologies and clinical diagnostics on behalf of patients diagnosed with brain and other cancers. This multi-institutional, cooperative clinical and diagnostic research initiative is dedicated to the study of cancer and the rapid, free and open exchange of data with the national cancer research community. PC4C's objectives define a patient-partnered approach that, for the first time, brings together diverse, aligned entities across the non-profit, academic, commercial, and philanthropic landscape on behalf of brain tumor patients and their care providers while empowering their participation in cancer research.
About NantHealth, Inc.
NantHealth, Inc., a member of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies, is a next-generation, evidence-based, personalized healthcare company enabling improved patient outcomes and more effective treatment decisions for critical illnesses. NantHealth's unique systems-based approach to personalized healthcare applies novel diagnostics tailored to the specific molecular profiles of patient tissues and integrates this molecular data in a clinical setting with large-scale, real-time biometric signal and phenotypic data to track patient outcomes and deliver precision medicine. For nearly a decade, NantHealth has developed an adaptive learning system, which includes its unique software, middleware and hardware systems infrastructure that collects, indexes, analyzes and interprets billions of molecular, clinical, operational and financial data points derived from novel and traditional sources, continuously improves decision-making and further optimizes our clinical pathways and decision algorithms over time. For more information please visit www.nanthealth.com and follow Dr. Soon-Shiong on Twitter @DrPatSoonShiong.
About Cancer Breakthroughs 2020
The Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program is one of the most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative launched to date, seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. This initiative aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational moonshot to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020. For more information, please follow Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 on Twitter.
About GPS Cancer™
GPS Cancer™ is a unique, molecular scan available through NantHealth. GPS Cancer integrates whole genome (DNA) sequencing, whole transcriptome (RNA) sequencing, and quantitative proteomics through mass spectrometry, providing oncologists with a comprehensive molecular profile of a patient's cancer and an assessment of protein pathway function to inform personalized treatment strategies. GPS Cancer scanning is conducted in CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratories, and is a key enabler for Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, the world's most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. For more information, visit www.gpscancer.com.
SOURCE Philadelphia Coalition for a Cure (PC4C)