The Mayo Clinic has tapped testing provider Personalis to offer genomic sequencing to participating cancer patients to not only help guide their treatments but also gather data for oncology research and the development of new diagnostics and therapies.
Personalis’ cancer test will be used to fully sequence the genetic code of a patient’s tumor and provide a clinical report for Mayo’s oncologists. Patients will also be able to contribute their results for broader R&D efforts at the clinic.
“We believe the use of aggregated and de-identified genomic sequencing data will improve both patient care and patient access to care,” Konstantinos Lazaridis, M.D., medical director of Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine, said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Personalis reported that it has delivered more than 140,000 sequenced human genomes to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as part of the government’s Million Veteran Program. First contracted by the initiative in 2012, Personalis said it delivered more than 50,000 genomes in the past 12 months and aims to hit 150,000 by the end of 2021.
The 10-year-old program aims to deliver a massive research database incorporating genetic, health, lifestyle as well as military-exposure information and has about 830,000 participants since its launch.
At Mayo, the clinic hopes to put Personalis to work expanding genomic testing to diverse patient populations that have not yet had access to the benefits of sequencing and personalized medicine.
“Developing individualized treatment plans for each patient based on their unique spectrum of cancer-promoting mutations is critical to our mission to provide the most advanced cancer care,” said Cheryl Willman, director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.
In addition, it’s particularly important to use sequencing in understudied populations to help uncover all possible cancer mutations, Willman explained. “Our goal is to develop our capacity for ‘precision prevention’ that will help us detect and treat cancers earlier in all populations.”