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February 05, 2017

Philly-area hospitals, medical schools team up to find better ways to treat brain tumors

Several hospitals and medical schools in the greater Philadelphia region are collaborating on a new effort to develop technology that will improve health outcomes for patients with brain tumors.

On Friday, representatives from six local institutions unveiled The Philadelphia Coalition for a Cure, or PC4C, at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The coalition will focus on identifying individualized treatment options for patients rather than relying on the current standard of chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Researchers from the Division of Neurosurgery and Center for Data Driven Discovery at CHOP will work with the neurosurgical departments from University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Drexel University's Neurosciences Institute, Thomas Jefferson University's Sidney Kimmel Medical College and Rowan University's Cooper Medical School.

The Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California is also involved with the initiative.

“This has been a place of discovery in many facets of pediatric medicine," said Madeline Bell, CHOP's president and CEO. "I am hopeful that your efforts in fighting brain cancer will take root and bring beneficial treatments to people around the world.”

The collaboration will develop new treatments for both adult and pediatric brain tumors. According to researchers, brain tumors are diagnosed in more than 20,000 adults annually and are the leading cause of disease-related death in kids.

PC4C members will utilize NantHealth's GPS Cancer, a comprehensive test that is able to sequence the entire genome, to provide patients with personalized treatment strategies.

"We are excited to see these leading cancer institutions research and identify individualized treatment options for patients with brain tumors, and we expect this alliance to help allow us to establish an improved platform of discovery to inform precise therapeutic decisions for adult and pediatric brain tumor patients,” said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, NantHealth's founder and CEO.

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