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10 March, 2015 - 23:52 By Kate Sweeney

14MG steers cancer collaboration

Andy Sandham of 14MG

Cambridge startup 14M Genomics (14MG) and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer are collaborating to use genomic diagnostic profiles to facilitate enrolment into next generation cancer clinical trials.

14MG will analyse patterns of genomic variation on newly diagnosed patients with colorectal, thoracic, brain and skin cancers as part of the EORTC Screening Patients for Efficient Clinical Trial Access (SPECTA) programme.

The first project in colorectal cancer launched in 2013, SPECTAcolor, has been successfully implemented across 21 clinical centres located in nine countries in Europe, and has recruited over 500 patients. 

Limited cancer genomic analyses conducted to date have shown that the observed frequency of mutations is similar to that observed in previous colorectal cancer clinical trials.

14MG will now conduct in depth genomic variation analyses, using its state-of-the-art sequencing and analytical tools, on these and future patients enrolled in the study.  

This profile will help inform oncologists on the eligibility of patients for enrolment in clinical trials for new treatments. The diagnostic information and future clinical response to treatment will form part of linked clinical genomic data, being assembled by EORTC and 14MG, which will be valuable as a reference resource for future diagnostic guidance for new patients.

The EORTC aims to improve the standard of cancer treatment through the testing of more effective therapeutic strategies based on drugs, surgery and/or radiotherapy that are already in use. 
It also contributes to the development of new drugs in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry.

Andy Sandham, executive chairman of 14MG, said: “We are delighted to be able to work as a partner with the EORTC, its clinical centres and investigators. 

“The SPECTA programme is an exciting initiative to allow oncologists to offer novel treatment options to patients, by enrolment into clinical trials most appropriate for their profile. Our clinical genomics technologies enable profiling that relates to the underlying biology of the tumour. We look forward to collaboration with the EORTC, academic clinical research centres and pharmaceutical companies on innovative clinical trials.”

Dr Denis Lacombe, director of the EORTC, added: “Our partnership with 14M Genomics will improve our ability to diagnose and treat each patient as an individual, a step forward in personalised medicine.”

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