Star Health Network, Inc. (Star) and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Center (RGCI&RC) recently announced the availability of molecular Tumor Profiling (TP) tests from the Yale School of Medicine and Thomas Jefferson University, USA. RGCI&RC is the first Indian cancer hospital to offer this new cancer detection technology, which provides the genomic information on a patient’s tumor and advances the delivery of high quality of personalized precision medicine. Precision Medicine is the tailoring of medical treatment according to the unique genetic profile of each patient’s tumor.
Tumor profiling help search out that genetic alteration which is driving the growth of tumor and can possibly be targeted with the available targeted molecule or by molecules in clinical trials and pipeline. TP tests are currently available for Lung, Breast, Biliary Tract (Pancreas, Bile Duct, Gallbladder) Ovarian, Thyroid, Colorectal & Urinary Tract cancers and Acute Leukemia & Melanoma. TP tests are tailored from eight genes most likely to be altered in these common cancers. TP tests detect 69 actionable mutations, meaning there are approved drugs or drugs in clinical trials that can target these specific mutations.
For Indian cancer patients the process is simple: world-class pathologists at Yale School of Medicine & Thomas Jefferson University perform high throughput genotyping analysis of a patient’s tumor DNA and provide a report within 10-15 days. Oncologists at RGCI&RC or your center can then match the genomic profile of your tumor to available drugs or drugs in clinical trials. This personalized approach of targeted therapy could result in many more patients receiving only those drugs that are known to work specifically for their kind of cancer. “Having a targeted therapy to a cancer mutation can reduce the need for chemotherapy, which is associated with debilitating side effects,” said Dr. John Sanil Manavalan, Chief Medical Officer of Star.
Dr. Mehta, Chief of Pathology at RGCI&RC, recently visited Yale and Thomas Jefferson University and other Star partner institutions in the United States, to obtain first hand exposure to this unique TP technology. He says, “This is a beginning of a revolution and is a big step in advancing precision medicine in cancer. We have launched a national awareness campaign to help physicians and patients understand how TP tests can be effective in cancer care. This is the result of our partnership with leaders like Star, and its network of U.S. institutions, in all areas of clinical oncology and cancer genomics; partners who are equally committed to the changing the paradigm of cancer care”.
“Overall, cancer genetic profiling is revolutionizing the way cancers are treated. Star and its U.S. institutional partners are the first to bring this cutting edge technology to India with RGCI&RC as its partner. All patients who have cancer or have been recently diagnosed with cancer should consult their treating oncologists to take advantage of the availability of these tests at RGCI&RC,” said Dr. Jamal Naiyer, President and CEO of Star.
Mr. David McCallen spokesperson and Chief Marketing Officer of Star provides a high level analysis: “While India has made tremendous progress in healthcare delivery over the past decade, it is still behind in leading edge diagnostics and research. Our priority is to bridge these gaps by providing access to world-class healthcare institutions and their innovations: these tests from the Yale School of Medicine are a perfect, real world example of how our network can positively impact patients, doctors and hospitals worldwide.