Action on cancer: Breaking down gene codes

by Marie Szaniszlo ,  Boston Herald | 2013-01-13

Cambridge based biotech Foundation Anesthetic advances in new field: tackling Cancer with high-tech. CEO Michael Pellini wants to take the recent findings to practice by presenting the new technology to hospitals worldwide. 

Foundation Medicine established in 2009 by leaders in genome technology, cancer biology and medical oncology and it analyzes cancerous tumors codes. Researchers say they look at the entire coding sequence of more than 200 abnormal genes seen in cancer patients.  

Pellini said that the company then addresses the patient’s physician, and matches the identified abnormalities with targeted treatment options that may benefit the cancer patient. Furthermore, Pellini stated that physicians can later use the report to take proper action, according to each patient unique genomic profile.  

The proposition soon became popular with oncologists and 700 of them ordered the test. The cost is $5,800 and from the reception of the sample, the lab provides the test result in approximately 21 days.

The recent financing that the Foundation recently received will allow the expansion of the operations, Pellini said.

The Foundation test for now only solid tumors, but Pelilni expects to expand to blood cancers as well. The researchers in Cambridge say they will persevere in the exploration of the high-tech cancer genomics.

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