Lab21 and ITOR Unveil Major Leap Forward in Personalized Cancer Medicine

GREENVILLE, S.C., March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Institute for Translational Oncology Research one of first sites in the U.S. to feature next-generation gene-sequencing technology in the clinic

The new Lab21 Clinical Genomics Center at ITOR will allow cancer patients to benefit from new technology to receive real-time feedback and treatment plans tied to their cancer's specific DNA signature. Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center will be one of the first sites in the country to bring Ion Torrent next-generation gene-sequencing technology into a clinical environment for personalized oncology medicine studies.

"Bringing this leading-edge technology to the cancer clinic represents a significant breakthrough and the culmination of a seven-year journey," said Dr. Joe Stephenson, medical director for GHS' Institute for Translational Oncology Research. "This genomics center is another major step towards fulfilling our vision to provide personalized cancer care - better enabling us to offer the right drug, at the right time, to the right patient."

"We are delighted to announce the founding of the Lab21 Clinical Genomics Center at ITOR as the next major step forward for Lab21 in North America," said Michael Bolick, president of Lab21 Inc. UK-based Lab21, Ltd. located its North American headquarters in Greenville in 2010 partly to be in close proximity to ITOR.

Bolick continued, "This center, which further strengthens our relationship with ITOR, will pave the way for clinical trial applications and provide a framework to commercialize biomarker discoveries as part of Lab21's proprietary companion diagnostic portfolio."

This potential sea change in cancer treatment is made possible through Life Technologies' next-generation Ion Torrent sequencing systems. Martin Naley, Life Technologies' vice president for genomics medicine, said Greenville will be one of the first locations to bring the Ion Torrent technology directly into research studies that patients can access.

ITOR and Lab21 will work with leading healthcare institutions across the globe in pursuit of similar strategies to optimize tests and exchange genomic and health outcome data. "The end result could be to enable continuous healthcare discovery and improvement through collective patient experience," said Naley.

This resource is designed to become an integrated part of the evaluation of every cancer patient who is cared for in the GHS system, said ITOR's Stephenson. It will also become a powerful translational research service for ITOR's research university and private-sector collaborators.

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