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A Partnership in Precision Medicine

Many cancer patients at Rush University Medical Center now have the option of undergoing genetic analysis that may further enable their doctors to customize more effective treatments. A partnership with Tempus, a new Chicago-based technology company, is making it possible.
 
Tempus analyzes patient blood and tissue samples for up to 1,700 genes commonly associated with cancer. After sequencing a patient’s genes, Tempus compares the patient’s genetic information with the company’s large, proprietary biological database to find potentially relevant patterns. Connecting those patterns could help physicians identify effective, personalized therapies for patients who may not respond to conventional treatment.
 
Ranga Krishnan, MB, ChB, the Henry P. Russe, MD, Dean of Rush Medical College, has high expectations for Rush’s growing partnership with Tempus. “The characterization of the genetic background of cancer and analysis of patient response to treatment will be at the heart of our clinical and research efforts at Rush,” said Krishnan. “This will allow us not only to identify pathways to more personalized treatment, but also to discover novel biomarkers for early diagnosis and treatment.”
 
To prepare for these new opportunities in personalized medicine, Rush is greatly expanding its biorepository of tissue samples taken from cancer patients. Through its partnership with Rush, Tempus will store Rush patients’ tissue samples, analyze them and send back potentially valuable findings to clinicians, allowing for analysis of each patient’s tumor at the molecular level.
 
“As we get a better understanding of how these tumors grow and develop with help from this data, we can design drugs that affect the mutated genes but not the normal ones,” said Robert DeCresce, MD, acting director of the Rush University Cancer Center. “This is the area of big promise.”
 
To learn more about cancer advances at Rush and how to support them, contact Kevin Gray at (312) 563-6596 or kevin_gray@rush.edu.