The Norton Cancer Institute Genomics Lab, located inside a new lab facility, is the first of its kind in Louisville. Genomics testing results now come back in half the time it took to get results from an outside laboratory and give our cancer doctors more information to improve patient outcomes.
“We are now able to test for far more genetic mutations, allowing us to target therapies for patients’ cancers,” said Charles Webster Myers, M.D., a pathologist and director of Norton Cancer Institute Genomics Lab.
The lab now allows for testing for mutations in more than 50 genes, whereas previously mutations were tested in three genes.
“This is critical,” said Joseph M. Flynn, D.O., MPH, FACP, chief administrative officer, Norton Medical Group, and physician-in-chief, Norton Cancer Institute.
Historically, cancer-fighting drugs were developed for general classes of cancer. For example, in the past, pathologists could look at breast tissue microscopically and see that a patient had adenocarcinoma, a broad term for about 30 different types of cancer.
“With genomic testing we’re now literally developing classes of drugs based on specific gene mutations in specific tumors.” Dr. Flynn said.
The lab was made possible through the Steven Vanover Foundation, thanks to a $250,000 donation to the Norton Healthcare Foundation.