Scottsdale Healthcare, TGen announce strategic alliance


Alliance brings translational medicine into the community

SCOTTSDALE Scottsdale Healthcare today announced a strategic alliance with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in which Scottsdale Healthcare will become a primary clinical research site for TGen.

Opening Oct. 24, the TGen Clinical Research Services (TCRS) will include a Genomics Medicine and Individual Therapy Center and a Pancreatic Cancer Center, and will be located in the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. Additional clinical research programs focused on other cancer types are planned in the near future.

Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, TGen's Senior Investigator and Director of the Translational Drug Development Division will serve as medical research leader of TCRS. As the new program grows it is expected to move into a larger space in the Cancer Center's adjoining Research Pavilion.

"The TGen-Scottsdale Healthcare alliance embodies our vision of setting the standard for excellence in personalized healthcare," said Tom Sadvary, president & CEO. "The combination of world-class researchers, community physicians and university faculty in the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center provides unprecedented access to new therapies for the citizens of Arizona."

Valley residents will be among the first to benefit from new treatments for disease. "The TCRS will bring new clinical research into the community, and those patients who would otherwise have to travel someplace else for access to new therapies or prevention agents," said Dr. Von Hoff.

According to Dr. Von Hoff, the strategic alliance will allow molecular and genomic discoveries made by TGen and others around the world to reach the patient bedside as quickly as possible. Clinical trials with agents directed at specific targets in patients' tumors will be launched November 1, 2005. Phase I clinical trials of two new cancer drugs will also be launched in November.

"We are seeing over 2300 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year at Scottsdale Healthcare alone, and a number of these could benefit from the research conducted through this new alliance," said Susan Brown, associate vice president for oncology services at Scottsdale Healthcare. Additional physician researchers are being recruited to support TCRS, she said.

"We are honing in on the pathways to help tailor the right drug to the right patient through molecular profiling," said Dr. Von Hoff. "This new era of personalized genomic medicine offers the ability to examine patients' tumors for molecular targets, and treat those patients' tumors with more specialized therapeutics that have potentially fewer side effects."

According to the National Institutes for Health, only 3% of adults with cancer are participating in clinical trials. A recent study shows that if given the opportunity and access to clinical trials, 63% of the population would participate, according to a survey by the Charlton Research Co.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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