Ochsner Cancer Institute has formally launched the Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program, the region's only program dedicated to bringing early-phase clinical trials to cancer patients. The Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program combines Ochsner’s clinical expertise with the translational science strength of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a non-profit biomedical research organization at the forefront of drug discovery and development.
“This partnership is truly a testament to Ochsner Cancer Institute’s commitment to providing the highest quality of cancer care to the communities that we serve,” says Dr. Marc Matrana, Medical Director, Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program. “By partnering with TGen, we are providing access to cutting-edge therapies close to home, allowing patients to stay near to family during treatment and follow up as opposed to having to travel elsewhere for treatment.”
Early-phase clinical trials allow for patients to receive innovative therapies before they are widely available. According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 40% of men and women in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, yet only about 3% of adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials, with participation even lower in Louisiana.
“Our increased understanding of genomics is changing how we approach cancer treatment,” said Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen Physician-in-Chief. “The early phase trials offered by Ochsner broadens their efforts to advance new agents into the patient care stream based on high-quality clinical research, which ultimately allows increased patient access to the latest — and hopefully — more effective therapies.”
In addition to early phase clinical trials, the Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program offers patient access, care and support teams, including nurses, doctors, researchers, technicians, laboratory personnel, infusion staff, schedulers and a concierge, fully dedicated to our early phase trial cancer patients. Ochsner physicians are at the forefront of modern molecular medicine, creating customized treatment plans based on the most up-to-date research and data.
“Today we know more about genes than ever before and through the mapping of the human genome, we are moving towards being able to treat cancer based on the genetics of the tumor itself as opposed to the origin of the tumor,” says Dr. Matrana. “Next generation sequencing techniques allows us to test an individual’s cancer and pair them with the most appropriate therapies for their specific case.”
The Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program serves as a reminder of Ochsner’s longstanding tradition of bringing physicians together to improve health outcomes through a unique combination of patient care, research and education. The unique combination of patient care, research and education coupled with our multidisciplinary team sets our program apart. For more information on the Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program, visit ochsner.org/earlyphase or call (504) 800-6370.