NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Cancer Institute today 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.

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About Ochsner Health System
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 60 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 17,000 employees and over 1,000 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 600 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About TGen
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is allied with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and cancer and diabetes treatment center. This precision medicine alliance enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org. Follow TGen on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @TGen.

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