Timothy J. Yeatman, M.D., Moffitt's Associate Center Director for Clinical Investigations at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, and the Sarasota-based DNAPrintTM genomics, Inc., have formed a joint research program to develop and implement new clinical tests for predicting patient response to cancer chemotherapies.
In the new pharmacogenomics alliance, Moffitt physicians and scientists are teaming with DNAPrintTM to identify genetic variants that underlie poor patient response to various chemotherapies and also to implement new clinical tests at the Cancer Center.
These genetic variants will be combined with other biomarkers from gene-expression, proteomics and epidemiological research with the aim to predict patient chemotherapy response from the DNA before chemotherapy begins. That way, patients who are not likely to respond can be spared from exposure to ineffective therapy.
With the newly signed agreement, both organizations have teamed to make an important stride towards their goal of enabling a more personalized, safe and effective modality of cancer treatment for our current generation of cancer patients.
A primary area of focus for the effort is colorectal cancer, long a primary research interest for Yeatman, a professor of surgery in the USF Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology. Approximately 50 percent of patients fail to respond to the current FDA-approved therapy for colon cancer. Given the poor prognosis associated when therapies fail to work, there is a dire need for tools capable of predicting response beforehand, Yeatman said.
In 2001, the National Cancer Institute awarded Moffitt the status of a Comprehensive Cancer Center in recognition of its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country's leading cancer centers, and is listed in the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top cancer hospitals in America.. Moffitt's sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.