Salisbury Press

Monday, October 21, 2019

LVHN partners with Strata for updated cancer diagnosis

Saturday, August 31, 2019 by The Press in Focus

Strata Oncology, a precision oncology company, announced that Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is among five health systems and the only one in the Lehigh Valley region joining the Strata Precision Oncology Network™ (the “Network”).

The others are Baptist Health, Kentucky; MultiCare Health System, Washington; Prisma Health, South Carolina, and Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin.

Routine tumor molecular profiling through the Strata Trial, which began July 12 at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg, will now be available at more than 100 hospitals across the Strata Precision Oncology Network, covering 140,000 newly-diagnosed cancer patients annually. Strata Oncology’s growing portfolio of pharma-sponsored clinical trials will be available to eligible patients at the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute.

“The addition of these health systems to the Network expands our reach to 40,000 patients each year with newly-diagnosed advanced disease,” said Dan Rhodes, Ph.D., CEO of Strata Oncology. “Together we are working to solve the unique hurdles integrated health systems face in implementing a large-scale precision oncology program, including routine tumor profiling, rapid interpretation of test results, and local access to precision therapy trials,” Rhodes said.

Strata Oncology launched the Network in 2017.

Despite advances in cancer care and treatment, most advanced cancer patients do not have access to comprehensive tumor molecular profiling and precision medicine clinical trials. Precision therapy trial enrollment is slow and inefficient, resulting in delays to bring new medicines to market.

“This partnership positions Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute on the cutting-edge of providing patients access to the latest technology and clinical research in precision oncology,” Suresh Nair, M.D., physician-in-chief of the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute.

Nair said LVHN will be able to offer Strata testing at no cost, and that the test features an expanded gene panel, from 90 to 500 cancer genes, and includes analytical validation of 36 emerging gene expression biomarkers, compared to commercial gene sequencing tests that can cost patients as much as $5,000 in copays.

Nair said that as many as 1,000 LVHN patients may benefit from as much as $5 million of free testing yearly for three years of funding.