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Fred Hutch gifted $78M for precision oncology research

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the only real National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Washington state, use the funds to determine the Stuart and Molly Sloan Precision Oncology Institute and accelerate the center’s precision oncology research.

WHY IT MATTERS

Fred Hutchs work in precision oncology integrates fundamental biology, technology, immunology, data science and clinical experience into ways of prevent, detect and treat cancer.

Stuart and Molly Sloan’s pledge: “To expand the development of precision therapies for more cancers and bring desire to everyone who’s, unfortunately, experiencing cancer,” declared Stuart Sloan in the center’s announcement concerning the gift.

Scientists can learn a significant amount about every cancer including how exactly to stop it by sequencing a patients tumor, studying its unique metabolism, profiling the proteins it expresses, understanding the microenvironment it generates and tracking disease fighting capability responses.

“With recent developments, we’ve the scientific tools and expertise to expand precision oncology to more patients. This contribution also we can expand our lab space, that may then drive innovation and discovery at Fred Hutch for another 20 to 30 years,” said Dr. Thomas J. Lynch, president and director of Fred Hutch, who holds an endowed chair.

Fred Hutchs April 2022 merger with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which united research and patient care right into a single organization, reportedly inspired the Sloans, who also help organize the annual Obliteride fundraiser, to help make the gift.

“Miracles begin in the lab, and nowhere else is that truer than at Fred Hutch,” Sloan expressed, noting Fred Hutch’s breakthroughs in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy have benefitted cancer patients globally.

THE BIGGER TREND

Precision oncology offers cancer patients more targeted therapies predicated on their particular cancers.

“Through the use of more tailored therapies targeting specific tumors in specific patients, weve had remarkable success in treating some cancers but we have to do more,” Lynch said in the prepared statement.

Trends in electronic health record systems are streamlining genomics along with other data to boost clinical decision-making.

EHR giant Epic, for example, has lately been partnering with other vendors to integrate precision medicine tools such as for example direct ordering for genetic tests and genetic profiling into clinical workflows.

At HIMSS 2022 in Orlando earlier this March, Dr. Joel Diamond of 2bPrecise said that after years of stalled promise, precision medicine is moving to the mainstream at this time, particularly where cancer genomics can be involved. (AccessDX Holdings purchased 2bPrecise from Allscripts recently.)

“What everyone understands is that prescribing medicine by learning from your errors just fails,” and there’s a better solution to address myriad health issues, including behavioral health, prenatal care among others, said Diamond.

ON THE RECORD

“With recent developments, we’ve the scientific tools and expertise to expand precision oncology to more patients,” said Dr. Lynch. “This contribution also we can expand our lab space, that will then drive innovation and discovery at Fred Hutch for another 20 to 30 years.”

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.

Email:afox@himss.org


Healthcare IT News is really a HIMSS publication.

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