Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Breast Cancer Research Gets Personal

Loyola part of groundbreaking study that will test promising personalized medicine drugs for higher risk, rapidly growing cancers

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Loyola University Medical Center is participating in an unprecedented nationwide effort to test promising new breast cancer drugs that are individually targeted to the characteristics of each patient's tumor.

This innovative clinical trial design for early stage breast cancer will enable researchers to quickly drop drugs that don't work, while designating effective drugs for further study.

Loyola is among 17 centers participating in the project, called I-SPY 2. "Personalized medicine is the new frontier in breast cancer treatment," said medical oncologist Dr. Kathy Albain, lead breast cancer specialist at the Loyola site. "This study will tell us, as rapidly as possible, which drugs work best on different types of tumors, and the drugs will be quickly selected on the basis of each woman's tumor characteristics. This could prove to be an enormous benefit to patients, especially women with the most aggressive cancers."

The five-year, $26 million project is led by the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health and is sponsored by the Biomarkers Consortium, a unique public-private partnership that includes the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and major pharmaceutical companies.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.