With the introduction of UW-OncoPlex, says Renato Martins, MD, MPH, “SCCA is now second to none in terms of the genetic profiling of cancer cells.”
This pre-eminence rests on more than the raw number of genes profiled. Keep in mind that UW-OncoPlex is a clinical tool. It is the depth and quality of the data—and above all, its accuracy—that matters to doctors trying to help patients make critical decisions about their treatment.
In addition, there’s close collaboration between the clinic and the research lab. This ensures that UW-OncoPlex is optimized as a diagnostic tool. Ongoing dialogue allows the oncologists who are treating patients to describe the information they need most or to suggest new targets that could be developed.
In return, each UW-OncoPlex report from the lab includes a detailed interpretative section. This is important to doctors like melanoma specialist John Thompson, MD, who sees UW-OncoPlex as more than just a quantitative tool. What he finds particularly helpful is the note explaining the significance of the results. “Dr. Pritchard and his colleagues are experts in detecting these mutations and describing their meaning,” Dr. Thompson says. “They also supply references that allow me to fully research the detected mutation.”
While UW-OncoPlex is at the forefront of technology, its real power comes from leveraging capabilities across the entire SCCA organization. As Dr. Pritchard puts it: “We start with high-quality diagnostics. Then you add in excellent clinicians who are on top of all the literature and know how to interpret the data. You also need a stable of high-quality drugs in development and trials showing that these drugs work—validating whether or not the UW-OncoPlex results correctly predict patients’ responses. You need to have all these pieces in place.”
With all these tools, people, and processes, SCCA is uniquely positioned to deliver more precise and effective care to cancer patients.