The MD Anderson Cancer Center Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy was created to support preclinical research and clinical trials in which a patient’s tumor biopsy is assayed for abnormal genes and gene products to select therapy with agents targeting the product of those particular abnormal genes. This integrated research and clinical trials program is aimed at implementing personalized cancer therapy and improving patient outcomes. A number of events have converged creating a “perfect storm” offering the opportunity to make a bold leap forward in personalizing cancer care. Personalized cancer therapy includes all aspects of individualized patient management driven by characterization of tumor, microenvironment and host characteristics including diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and immunological manipulation either alone or in concert.
The Khalifa Institute sits at the interface between discovery genomics, clinical testing and biomarker-driven clinical trials. We achieve our work through the integration of four key components:
- Technology and Target Development: We ensure that the technologies needed to best identify and understand the genetic alterations driving tumorigenesis, treatment response and resistance, and pronosis are available to clinicians and patients at MD Anderson.
- Biomarker-Driven Clinical Trials and Decision Support: Through the All CLIA Data, Clearinghouse and Unusual Responders protocols and the Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers, the Khalifa Institute supports the capacity for clinicians to have access to and interpret genomic data from CLIA-approved molecular testing and research sequencing for use in identifying patients forappropriate biomarker-driven and biomarker-enriched trials.
- Communication and Education: Strategic communicatoin and training through the Khalifa Fellows and Scholars program, our support of specific conferences and workshops, and our Decision Support team aim to ensure the MD Anderson community as well as the more general cancer care community has access to appropriate resources and tools they need to understand how to integrate genomic information into patient care.
- Data Analysis and Data Sharing: By leveraging collaborations across the institution, including colleagues in Genomic Medicine, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Research Information Systems and expertise within each of the clinical departments, the Khalifa Institute ensures data from the clinical testing, research testing and technology development components are shared with the rest of the institution.
The MD Anderson Cancer Center Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy will provide personalized cancer therapy for allof our patients, and define the new standard of patient care by improving outcomes and reducing costs.
We will be the leader in implementing personalized cancer therapy, based on an analysis of each patient's cancer that will integrate information across DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolomics in the contect of the tumor microenvironment, the patient's immune system and the patient's own genotype.
We will provide assays and tools that enable clinical investigators to genetically and molecularly interrogate a patient's tumor, in order to facilitate assignment of experimental or approved therapies most likely to benefit the patient. The goals of the Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy are:
- Support genomic testing in the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory and create infrastructure and platforms for integration of genetic analysis and clinical data for cancer patient biospecimens.
- Support development and recruitment of clinical trials which bring therapies to patients that target the genetic aberrations in their cancers.
- Promote research ito the mechanisms of response and resistance to targeted therapies.
- Provide decision support to create personalized cancer treatment plans at point of care.
- Demonstrate the value of this approach so that it will become standard of practice and reimbursed.
- Educate current and the next generation of clinical investigators, here and outside of the institution.
The Institute is focused on the goal of defining the new standard of patient care – making personalized cancer therapy standard over the next 5 years, revolutionizing the way we manage patients. To accomplish this, we will:
- Rapidly implement the expanded molecular pathology laboratories, technology, instrumentation, and infrastructure for personalized clinical trials.
- Develop best practices for obtaining and managing patient biopsies and specimens to implement personalized cancer therapy.
- Position MD Anderson to lead the way in therapeutic clinical trials based on the underlying genomic and molecular alterations in individual patient’s cancers.
- Establish broad internal and external collaborations and partnerships to enhance our ability to rapidly transform discoveries into clinical practice and standard of care.