Partnering with patients and physicians to collect and analyze biospecimens of cancer tissues will advance understanding of the genetics of cancer, making possible new individualized diagnostics and therapies
MANHASSET, NY – Northwell Health today announced a collaboration with Indivumed to speed the advance of precision cancer research.
As New York State’s largest health care provider, Northwell Health diagnoses and treats 19,000 new cancer patients each year. Indivumed, GmbH is a Germany-based oncology research company working to individualize anti-cancer medical therapies. Together they will greatly expand cancer biobanking activities within Northwell Health that will be used to help develop anti-tumor drugs and personalized medicine approaches.
This collaboration will provide key infrastructure for cancer research within Northwell Health, and will substantially enhance Northwell Health’s recent affiliation with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Investigators at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have shaped contemporary biomedical research in many areas, including cancer.
“Attaining individualized cancer diagnosis and treatment for every patient based on reliable clinical data and molecularly intact biospecimens is our goal,” said Hartmut Juhl, MD, founder and CEO of Indivumed, and a cancer researcher. “Our tool for achieving this goal is the establishment of a unique global cancer database using molecular information from tissues collected under stringent protocols. Northwell Health brings a special blend of a strong clinical trial program within the largest hospital network in New York State. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a clear research leader in this field. By building this new biobank together, we can make a dramatic difference in genetic-based precision medicine.”
Under an initial three-year agreement, Northwell Health will collect lung, breast, colorectal, pancreatic and other cancer tissues for research and storage. Initially, tissue will be collected at three Northwell Health hospitals – North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Lenox Hill Hospital – with other hospitals joining the program later. Northwell Health cancer patients will have the opportunity to consent to having extra cancer tissue that was removed in the normal course of their treatment included in the biobank for research.
“This agreement is important on several fronts,” said James Crawford, MD, PhD, executive director and senior vice president of laboratory services at Northwell Health and chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. “Creating a system-wide approach to biobanking of human cancer tissues expands our ability to conduct metabolic, as well as gene-based, cancer treatment research. It will also facilitate patients being able to participate in and potentially benefit from cutting-edge clinical research without disrupting their routine treatment.” Crawford went on to say “Indivumed is a world leader in tissue collection and preservation and will drive meaningful innovation within our health system. By participating in the Indivumed global network, we’ll be helping to build a critical mass of biological samples and clinical data for use in unique research and clinical trials for our community.”
“The Northwell Health collaboration with Indivumed will provide strong support for the close partnership between Northwell Health and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which was memorialized in 2015,” said David Tuveson, MD, PhD, director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center. “It is an exciting step forward in bringing genomic cancer therapies out of the lab setting and into the field for use in treating patients.”
Peter K. Gregersen, MD, head of the Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics at Northwell’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, said the agreement builds on Northwell Health’s established biobank, which has been providing researchers and doctors a reliable way to collect and preserve tissue for the last decade. “This expanded ability to obtain human tissue for translational research will promote a better understanding of the interaction between cell biology and response to therapy, which is an essential ingredient to developing targeted cancer therapies,” he said.
About The Feinstein Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the 2,000 researchers and staff of the Feinstein are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and nearly 3,400 physicians, including nearly 2,700 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners — are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.
About Indivumed GmbH
INDIVUMED an ISO certified global oncology research company based in Hamburg, Germany, has established the world’s leading Cancer Database and biobank, retaining unique patterns of biomolecules such as RNA, DNA, and proteins as they existed in the human body. This Cancer Database makes possible multi-omics capabilities that will allow for characterization of samples and data such as whole genome gene expression analysis, expression analysis of cancer relevant proteins, expression analysis of cancer relevant phosphoproteins and bioinformatic solutions for integrating molecular, biological and clinical information.
Indivumed’s products and services allow for in-depth understanding of the underlying mechanisms of a patient’s cancer, addressing important demands in translational research and molecular diagnostics to support implementation of personalized healthcare.
For more information, please visit indivumed.com.
Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. CSHL has been a National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center since 1987. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program hosts more than 12,000 scientists from around the world each year on its campuses in Long Island and in Suzhou, China. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit cshl.edu.
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