Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Wilmot, Roswell Collaborating To Build Genomic Testing Network

Jonathan Friedberg
Jonathan Friedberg

The Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester is collaborating with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. The partnership between the two largest cancer care and research institutions outside New York City is focused on a new kind of diagnostics: genomic testing.

Take lung cancer, for example. Historically, doctors identified cells under a microscope and diagnosed the disease based on what they could see. As a result they tended to treat all lung cancer patients the same.

Doctor Jonathan Friedberg is the Director of the Wilmot Cancer Institute. He says now we know there are actually many different kinds of lung cancers. More importantly, we can use genomic testing to identify them.

"We can look at the genetics in the tumor to look for whether there are mutations that are there or not there, and that pattern of mutations really can define how a lung cancer is going to behave and how it responds to treatment."

The specific test Friedberg is talking about is called OMNISEQ and it was developed by researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The goal is to create personalized treatments for cancer patients. Friedberg says they've actually used this kind of testing for the last couple years.

"This network really helps to define and standardize that testing. And in fact allows us to form a leadership position nationally at moving the field forward."

Meaning Friedberg hopes this treatment will not only help treat patients in the region, but advance understanding about cancer treatment within the scientific community.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.