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Avera Joins WIN Consortium in Personalized Cancer Medicine

Nov 20, 2015 01:07PM ● By MED Magazine

Avera Cancer Institute recently became the fifth medical institution in the United States to join the Worldwide Innovative Networking (WIN) Consortium.


The WIN Consortium is a global network of leading academic, industry, insurance and non-profit research organizations working to make personalized cancer care a reality for patients worldwide.

Avera joins Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York University Langone Medical Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center.


“Personalized medicine is a concept of giving the right drug at the right time for the right person,” said Vladimir Lazar, MD, PhD, founder and Chief Operating Officer of the WIN Consortium. “WIN was created with a goal to go beyond what is now possible. As a member of the WIN Consortium, Avera will be on the front line of this transition.”


To date, the approach in cancer care has been population medicine – treatments based on what has been shown to be most effective for people with a certain type of cancer. In comparison, personalized medicine uses genomic analysis to discover the specific genetic drivers of a tumor, and target those drivers with treatment regimens.


Avera’s genomic oncology team consists of Brian Leyland-Jones, MB BS, PhD, and Casey Williams, PharmD, as well as Avera Cancer Institute physicians (surgeon, oncologist, pathologist and interventional radiologists), research scientists, experts in bioinformatics, nurse practitioners and specialized nurses and pharmacists. The team collaborates with experts from across the nation in clinical oncology, pharmacology, clinical genetics, genomic informatics, bioethics and pathology.


“This is the age of genomic medicine. We’re at a pivotal moment in cancer research, when we can apply genomic profiling to targeted therapies. This will be absolutely transformative in the history of cancer care,” Leyland-Jones said.