Sanford clinical trial looks for genetic targets in cancer

A Sanford Health clinical trial that looks for genetic targets in cancer is now being offered at the Sanford Cancer Center in Bemidji. The Genetic Exploration of the Molecular Basis of Malignancy in Adults (GEMMA) is enrolling adult patients whose cancer has progressed after the first line of treatment, or who have rare cancers without standard treatment options, in a clinical trial to look for genetic information that could help customize treatment options.

Enrollees are consenting adult patients with advanced cancers whose disease has progressed on at least one line of therapy or who have a rare cancer with no standard treatment. DNA will be extracted from tumor samples and tested to identify targets for treatment.

Patients enrolled in GEMMA are screened over a period of up to two weeks to determine if they fit the study criteria.  Upon enrollment, tissues are analyzed, and the patient’s case is reviewed by their physician and the Sanford genomic tumor board, a panel of experts in cancer care and genetics, to determine the best course of treatment.

Next-generation sequencing technology will be used to analyze the tumor samples and provide real-time clinical information for each patient’s care team.

“This study is the beginning of a focused effort to provide patient’s access to novel personalized therapies,” said Jayan Nair, M.D., oncologist and principal investigator of the trial at Sanford Cancer Center in Bemidji. “To complement the GEMMA study, Sanford will open several additional clinical trials that utilize novel therapies that treat genetic targets found on the GEMMA study.”

Throughout the study, patients will regularly meet a research coordinator for progress updates. Following treatment, patients will be monitored for two years.

GEMMA patient enrollment is available at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, Fargo, Bismarck and now Bemidji. For more information on how to participate call Sanford Bemidji Cancer Center at (218) 333-4869.

Posted In Cancer, News, Research