The recently opened Tumor Profiling Lab at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven is the first of its kind in Connecticut. Led by Dr. Jeffrey Sklar, Professor of Pathology and of Laboratory Medicine, and Director of the Molecular Genetics Pathology Fellowship, the service allows a patient’s tumor to be evaluated in order to determine the optimal treatment plan. The hope is that the resources provided by the Tumor Profiling Laboratory will lead to better-individualized treatment options.
As cancer treatment and therapy becomes more customized and personalized, the need for services such as this becomes greater. Each new advance furthers the understanding of the molecular basis of cancer and leads to the introduction of new drugs that target the molecular alterations that underlie tumor development.
The laboratory is a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified clinical facility that performs high throughput genotype analyses of tumor DNA to predict the sensitivity or resistance of tumors to a variety of therapies. Oncologists are then provided with a detailed mutational profile of their patients’ tumors so that treatment may be optimized on an individual basis.
The lab is currently capable of high throughput genotyping of tumors for 60 mutations, but over time this number will increase to include many more. This facility reflects a growing recognition of the value of analyzing tumors for mutations in order to predict the likelihood of patient response or resistance to various drugs. Ultimately, the lab will offer full sequence analysis of tumor genomes for all patients treated at Smilow Cancer Hospital.