Cancer cells - 3d rendered illustration
Cancer cells - 3d rendered illustration

A new study being conducted by Sanford Health is currently enrolling patients to determine how genomic profiling could help improve treatment options for patients with advanced, or rare forms of cancer.

The Community Oncology use of Molecular Profiling to Personalize the Approach to Specialized cancer treatment at Sanford (COMPASS) trial, which is led by oncologists and cancer researchers Steven Powell, M.D., and Sam Milanovich, M.D., analyzes treatment patterns of patients who have profiling completed on tumor tissue or blood samples using next-generation sequencing technology as part of their cancer management.

“A cancer's genetic code holds information that is vital to understanding how cancer affects each person differently,” said Dr. Powell. “By better understanding cancer genomics, we can identify treatment options that may have not previously been available. COMPASS seeks to help us understand how this testing can be most effectively used for our patients.”

The data generated from the genomic sequencing is reviewed by the Sanford Genomic tumor board to help guide the decision process for the treating cancer team.

“Many rare and aggressive childhood cancers have limited treatment options,” said Dr. Milanovich, who works in pediatric medicine. “COMPASS may help us better understand how cutting-edge genomic testing can be used to open new treatment options and improve therapy for children with cancer.”

COMPASS is a follow-up study to The Genetic Exploration of the Molecular Basis of Malignancy in Adults (GEMMA), launched in 2014, which enrolled 120 patients and demonstrated molecular profiling increases awareness of clinical trial and off-label treatment options for patients with incurable cancer across the Sanford health system. These trials have resulted in the introduction of more than 60 personalized treatments for patient through participation in clinical trials.

To be eligible for COMPASS, patients must have an advanced stage of cancer or have cancer that has no established course of treatment. The study is open to both adult and pediatric patients older than four weeks of age.

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