Cancer-focused molecular testing and technology company Caris Life Sciences announced today that the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center for Cancer Research (CCR) has joined the Caris Precision Oncology Alliance (POA) to collaborate on precision medicine research. Under the collaboration, Caris will make available to NCI researchers its broad portfolio of molecular profiling products that include DNA (genome), RNA (transcriptome) and proteins (proteome) testing and analysis tools.
“Joining Caris’ POA will support NCI CCR’s mission to improve the lives of all cancer patients by solving important, challenging and neglected problems in cancer research and patient care,” said James L. Gulley, M.D., Ph.D., director of Medical Oncology Service at the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research in a press release. “We hope that working with Caris and other members of the POA will allow us to further advance promising innovative technologies that fuel improvements in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”
As part of its role in the collaboration, Caris said it will link molecular data into an electronic medical records database, in order to create a robust dataset of combined patient outcomes and molecular information. Additionally, joining the POA network will allow the NCI CCR to conduct clinical and translational research collaboratively across the alliance—which currently includes 55 cancer centers and academic institutions, including 24 NCI-designated cancer centers—to participate in all ongoing research activities across POA tumor groups, and to generate and publish clinical outcomes data that impacts cancer care across the U.S.
The NCI CCR comprises nearly 250 teams conducting basic, translational, and clinical research in the NCI intramural program—an environment supporting innovative science aimed at improving human health.
NCI researchers, and its POA peers, can leverage Caris’s big data informatics system called CODEai. According to Caris, the system is one the most comprehensive real-world, clinico-genomic databases in the world and housing Caris’ catalog of molecular data that is matched with cancer treatment information and clinical outcomes data for hundreds of thousands of patients.
The NCI leads the nation’s research efforts to improve cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and survivorship – while supporting 71 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers and more than 5,000 grantees across the U.S. The NCI also coordinates and supports all phases of clinical trials across 2,500 clinical trial sites nationwide, seeking the development of new and improved cancer treatments. The NCI’s team of approximately 3,500 is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of 11 agencies that make up the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“The NCI is a global leader in cancer innovation and therapeutics. Our comprehensive molecular technology platforms and solutions are well positioned to support the NCI’s ongoing initiatives,” said David D. Halbert, chairman and CEO of Caris. “We are honored and proud to partner with the NCI, who shares our vision and commitment to improve the lives of patients through precision medicine.”
NCI researchers, as well as other members of the POA have access to Caris CODEai™, the Company’s state-of-the-art informatics system and big data architecture platform. Caris CODEai is one of the largest and most comprehensive real-world, clinico-genomic databases in the world and includes Caris’ extensive catalog of molecular data that is matched with cancer treatment information and clinical outcomes data for hundreds of thousands of patients.
“Access to Caris’ clinico-genomic database is an excellent complement to our data capture and analysis capabilities,” said Eytan Ruppin, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Cancer Data Science Laboratory at the NCI’s CCR. “Understanding the underlying molecular signatures of cancer patients at a large scale greatly enhances our ability to conduct meaningful research that translates into improved patient care.”