Arizona Biosciences News
MPI, US Oncology team to accelerate development of personalized cancer therapies
Phoenix-based Molecular Profiling Institute Inc. (MPI) has joined forces with US Oncology, a leading national cancer treatment and research network, to create the Tissue Banking and Analysis Center Inc. (TBAC).
MPI is a "specialty reference laboratory," meaning that it performs tests and compares their results to a known reference. In particular, the institute applies scientific discoveries from the Human Genome Project to personalized medicine, helping cancer patients around the world—work that has already earned them one of only five finalist spots for the 2006 21st Century Achievement award in Medicine.
MPI and US Oncology's development of a large centralized tissue bank and analysis service will help standardize tissue collection and examination, allowing researchers to create more effective clinical trials and improve the design of future cancer studies.
As a result of TBAC, fewer patients may be needed in the future for clinical trials. There may also be an acceleration of the research necessary to make personalized therapy a reality.
"This venture will fill a huge unmet need in cancer drug development over time," said Dr. Atul Dhir, president of the Cancer Information Research Group for US Oncology and a board member of TBAC. "It will enable more personalized therapies and enable better treatment accuracy and outcomes for cancer patients around the nation."
US Oncology Network and its affiliated physicians and practices provide care to more than 500,000 patients annually, ensuring that TBAC will have access to a large pool of suitable patient data.
Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, clinical director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), who also plays an instrumental role developing TBAC, said that TBAC will enable researchers to create treatments that work best for the genetic makeup of individual cancer patients.
"This is the kind of approach that may lead to the identification of specific therapeutic fits for the most aggressive kind of cancers," said Von Hoff.
TBAC supports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Critical Path Initiative by pooling its resources and information to combat cancer. The Tucson-based Critical Path Institute (C-Path) was created through this initiative to enable the safe acceleration of drug development by creating innovative programs in education and research.
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