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Philips and Memorial Sloan Kettering partner to better understand pancreatic cancer

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | June 02, 2017
Health IT Rad Oncology
The Philips IntelliSpace
Genomics platform
Royal Philips and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center announced a research partnership on Thursday to better understand pancreatic cancer on a cellular level and identify treatment that targets the root cause.

Researchers, data scientists and genomic analytics experts at Philips will work with a biologist and gastrointestinal pathologist and others at MSK to develop new research applications that help to uncover the drivers of pancreatic cancer. The applications will be available on the Philips IntelliSpace Genomics precision medicine platform.

Pancreatic cancer is the seventh most common cause of cancer deaths globally with a five-year survival rate of only five percent, according to Cancer.org. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 53,670 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and around 43,090 will die from it.

The disease is usually diagnosed in the very late stages of progression, according to Henk van Houten, chief technology officer at Philips. He believes that having insight into the origin, development and optimal treatment will help to improve patient outcomes.

Current technologies are able to sequence and analyze a heterogeneous sample, but can’t resolve details on single-cells, which is where genetic mechanisms can independently drive the tumor. It’s especially challenging to map all cell variations for pancreatic cancer, given the extensive infiltration into connective tissue.

However, having the ability to dissect and map the different genetic defects will allow the researchers to more effectively characterize pancreatic cancer.

Philips’ IntelliSpace Genomics was built to support the implementation and scaling of informatics-heavy precision medicine programs. It offers integrated workflows with advanced analytic capabilities, genomics-informed clinical decision support and trial matching tools for pathologists, oncologists and researchers.

Philips already has another ongoing partnership with MSK that involves using MR imaging for radiation oncology treatment planning. Philips stated that this successful partnership encouraged them to expand into other areas of oncology.

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