John Theurer Cancer Center to Establish Next Generation Sequencing Laboratory for Precision Genomic Profiling of Cancers, Adapting Testing Developed for DNA and RNA
IRVINE, Calif. and Hackensack, NJ, [May 27th, 2020] John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC), at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, and Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC), Irvine, CA, announced today an agreement to establish a state-of-the-art, next generation sequencing (NGS) laboratory for molecular profiling . This NGS laboratory, located at John Theurer Cancer Center, will serve all physicians within Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), a network of cancer care professionals in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland.
As a leading cancer institute and a member of the NCI-approved Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium, John Theurer Cancer Center will perform molecular profiling of all cancers in its patients with solid tumors or blood cancers. The results of such profiling will facilitate precision medicine: matching patients with therapies that target the molecular abnormalities driving the growth of their cancers. Furthermore, this molecular profiling will drive the expansion of the cancer center’s innovation and dedication to advancing the science of oncology practice in the community.
The John Theurer Cancer Center NGS laboratory will adapt highly validated tests developed by GTC for DNA and RNA profiling. Paired DNA and RNA profiling is increasingly employed in genomics research to uncover molecular mechanisms underlying the development and progression of disease and to explore personal genotype and phenotype correlations.
“Collaborations such as these demonstrate the commitment of the Hackensack Meridian Health system to improving the care of people with cancer, one of the country’s most common illnesses and a leading cause of death in the United States,” noted Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Technologies such as NGS with DNA and RNA profiling put us at the forefront of cancer care and research.”
“The sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence software used for analyzing sequencing data and linking them to clinical data are based on deep knowledge in technical and clinical needs,” added Andre Goy, MD, physician-in-chief for Oncology at Hackensack Meridian Health and chair of John Theurer Cancer Center.
“We are delighted to be working with the team at GTC. We selected GTC tests because of the significant diligence and scientific rigor used in their development,” said David S. Siegel, MD, PhD, chief, Myeloma Division at John Theurer Cancer Center and founding director, Institute for Multiple Myeloma at the Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation. “We believe that profiling both RNA and DNA in cancers is crucial — not only for increasing accuracy and providing thorough evaluation, but also for innovation and the development of new clinical research approaches.”
“Given the increasing number of novel therapies, particularly targeted therapies in solid tumors, having the ability to identify ‘mutation drivers’ that help us make healthcare decisions is becoming an increasingly routine practice in oncology,” said Martin Gutierrez, MD, head of Phase I and Thoracic Oncology at John Theurer Cancer Center. “Real world experience have shown that this genomic information should be used more frequently to improve patients’ outcomes.”
Maher Albitar, MD, chief executive officer and chief medical officer at GTC, stated, “Working with John Theurer Cancer Center to establish an NGS laboratory at a patient care site aligns with our mission as a cooperative company focused on making high-quality molecular profiling available and affordable for every patient with cancer. Furthermore, this collaboration will allow GTC to co-develop new tests with John Theurer Cancer Center by utilizing clinical and outcomes data from John Theurer Cancer Center, which will accelerate innovation in oncology and result in better patient care.”
“When you help one person overcome cancer, you make life better for their families, friends, and coworkers, too,” explained Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center and executive vice president of Population Health, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Bringing a tool like NGS into the routine care of people with cancer can improve lives — and by extension, entire communities.”
“Cancer affects many residents and their loved ones in northern New Jersey. Having NGS at John Theurer Cancer Center, coupled with the technologies of GTC, puts our doctors in a strong position to better understand what is driving the growth of their patients’ cancers so they can match them with the most effective therapies,” said Ihor Sawczuk, MD, FACS, Regional President of the Northern Market. “We are incredibly fortunate to have this resource right here in Hackensack.”
More than 30,000 new cancer patients are treated by RCCA physicians annually. John Theurer Cancer Center participates in more than 350 ongoing clinical trials.
About Hackensack Meridian Health
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.
Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals – JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.
Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 34,100 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.
Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.
For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.
About the Center for Discovery and Innovation
The Center for Discovery and Innovation, a newly established member of Hackensack Meridian Health, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions. The CDI, housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, offers world-class researchers a support infrastructure and culture of discovery that promotes science innovation and rapid translation to the clinic.
About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center
John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. The 14 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care have developed a close-knit team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. John Theurer Cancer Center is a member of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium, one of just 16 NCI-approved cancer research consortia based at the nation’s most prestigious institutions. Housed within a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care, and research hospital, John Theurer Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art technological advances, compassionate care, research innovations, medical expertise, and a full range of aftercare services that distinguish John Theurer Cancer Center from other facilities. For additional information, please visit www.jtcancercenter.org.
About Genomic Testing Cooperative, LCA
Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC) is a privately-owned molecular testing company located in Irvine, CA. The company operates based on a cooperative (co-op) business model. Members of the co-op hold type A shares with voting rights. The company offers its patron members a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling based mainly on next generation sequencing. The co-op model allows GTC to make the testing and information platform available to members at a lower cost because of a lower overhead. For more information, please visit https://genomictestingcooperative.com/.
Forward Looking Statements
All of the statements, expectations and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the GTC and John Theurer Cancer Center management’s current expectations and includes statements regarding the value of Molecular profiling, testing, therapy, and the ability of testing to provide clinically useful information. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and GTCC or GTC undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.
John Theurer Cancer Center contact:
Genomic Testing Cooperative contact: