Molecular Medicine at Fox Chase Cancer Center
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Cancer is a disease of genetic alterations, inherited and acquired. Oncologists must understand the genetic mutations that have led to an individual's cancer in order to provide the very best cancer treatment—and produce the best outcomes—for that patient.
Through the Cancer Genome Institute, the cornerstone program of molecular medicine at Fox Chase, the Center is making this personalized approach to cancer treatment, prevention and research a reality. Completion of the Human Genome Project, coupled with extraordinary advances in the technology and bioinformatics tools required to generate and analyze enormous amounts of DNA sequence data in a timely and economically feasible manner, have made it possible for the Cancer Genome Institute (CGI) to offer "next-generation" DNA sequencing tests that can potentially provide valuable information about the altered genetic profile of an individual's cancer.
Fox Chase's Robert Young MD Pavilion provides state-of-the-art laboratory space and facilities to foster collaborative research.
The CGI's efforts are augmented by two other unique facilities: the Biosample Repository Facility (BRF) and the Protocol Support Laboratory (PSL). The BRF collects and distributes thousands of human tissue and blood specimens and supporting clinical, personal and family cancer history data for research purposes, while the PSL works to collect, process and distribute biospecimens for research objectives associated with protocols for clinical trials.
- An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center whose resources are completely focused on cancer.
- Over 90 percent of patients are "biobanked" through a centrally organized and controlled tissue and fluid Biosample Repository Facility, the biospecimens of which are extraordinarily well annotated.
- Robust phase I clinical trial program with an unusually large portfolio of studies (enrolls about 200 patients per year).
- A large, internationally recognized, multidisciplinary clinical and research program to identify, study, and care for individuals with inherited predisposition to cancer.
- Deep scientific strength in cell signaling, functional genetics, and antibody engineering.
Cancer Genome Institute - The CGI at Fox Chase is one of the first to offer a powerful new diagnostic test for advanced or difficult to treat cancers, in a CLIA-certified setting. Through next-generation DNA sequencing, tumor-specific genetic abnormalities now can potentially be matched to precision drugs. The CGI also offers similar technology in a distinct research laboratory designed to support the Center's scientific discovery mission.
Biosample Repository Facility - The BRF contains many thousands of tissue and blood specimens from cancer patients treated at Fox Chase. These biosamples are used by scientists and clinicians throughout the Center, as well as other institutions, for research purposes. This robust and richly annotated repository is extraordinarily valuable in furthering translational research into the molecular basis of cancer.
Protocol Support Laboratory - The PSL is among the only free-standing labs in the country dedicated specifically to fulfilling the biospecimen-based research objectives of protocols for Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trials and investigational studies. The PSL and the BRF work closely together to optimize the utilization of patient specimens.
Clinical Trial Program - At any given time, Fox Chase has approximately 200 cancer clinical trials underway—research studies that evaluate new approaches to screen for, diagnose, treat and prevent cancer. Patients who volunteer to take part benefit by having access to new cancer treatments and options not otherwise available in addition to the excellent care offered at Fox Chase.
Department of Clinical Genetics - The Department of Clinical Genetics provides genetic counseling, screening and, when appropriate, referrals for genetic testing to individuals at high inherited genetic risk for cancer.
Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility - The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility is a shared institutional resource for statistical and bioinformatics consulting and related methodological research.