Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Center Focuses on Personalized Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis

The Integrative Cancer Research Center (ICRC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology is joining forces with the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development (CCRTD) at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) to establish a Collaborative Cancer Genomics Center (CCGC). The partnership will integrate expertise at both universities that will focus on understanding the underlying causes of prostate, ovarian, pancreatic and lung cancers.

Shafiq Khan, director of Clark Atlanta’s CCRTD, said, “The molecular, bioinformatic and clinical expertise necessary to move forward with such a personalized cancer diagnosis and treatment program exists at the collaborating institutions. Establishment of CCGC will complement the existing experimental infrastructure necessary to generate the genomic data required to attain our goals.”

John McDonald, director Georgia Tech’s ICRC, added, “We are particularly interested in developing algorithms that will allow us to use gene expression and DNA sequence data that we gather from specific patients to generate a customized prognosis and optimal therapeutic treatment program for individual cancer patients.”

Under the collaborative agreement, CCRTD will house and operate the CCGC’s high-throughput next generation sequencing instruments. The resulting sequence data will be assembled and analyzed at ICRC. Patient samples will be provided by the Ovarian Cancer Institute (OCI) and Saint Joseph’s Hospital’s Translational Research Initiatives in Oncology for the Management of Personalized Healthcare (TRIOMPH ) program. Clark Atlanta and Georgia Tech scientists will join clinical experts from OCI and TRIOMPH to interpret and evaluate the resulting data.

Housed at CAU in the Thomas W. Cole Jr. Research Center for Science and Technology, the CCGC is scheduled to begin operation in the fall of 2009.
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