Genomic Profiling Study Brings Personalized Medicine to Metastatic Bladder Cancer Patients

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Bethesda, MD - September 24, 2015 -- The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) and Paradigm today announced a partnership for the launch of a large-scale genomically-driven bladder cancer study. The Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) will act as the coordinating center.

This prospective study is the first project of the Bladder Cancer Genomics Consortium (BCGC), a collaborative effort between BCAN and major medical centers. The BCGC's goal is to develop an enriched understanding of the genomic profile of bladder cancer to facilitate the development of novel therapeutics. Bladder cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US, with nearly 75,000 new cases and 16,000 deaths in 2015.

Eight institutions, recognized for their expertise in bladder cancer are expected to participate in the study, including Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Johns Hopkins; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; The University of Chicago; University of Michigan; and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The participating centers will initially enroll 200 patients with metastatic urothelial cancer. Paradigm will genomically profile the patients using next-generation sequencing (NGS). The patients’ physicians will receive the results of the NGS profiles and information about potential clinical trials related to their patients’ NGS findings. HCRN will house the data created in the study, which will be accessible to all partners of BCGC for collaborative translational research and to help facilitate the development of novel clinical trials.

BCAN will invest an initial $1.6 million from private philanthropy, including the James Family Foundation, to support the study management, support services, and genomic sequencing reporting – costs which are often a barrier to personalized care for patients.

Matthew Milowsky, MD, Chair of the BCGC Genomics Advisory Board, and Principal Investigator for this project explained, “Improved patient care is the core of BCAN’s research initiatives. We hope this new program will be a game-changer in the field of bladder cancer research, bringing new treatment options to those who need it now, and fostering collaborative translational research that will ultimately save lives.”

Paradigm’s emerging reputation as a leading NGS provider and their ability to interrogate the most clinically actionable alterations for this study at a high degree of quality within one week was a major selection factor.
“We are proud to have been selected as a core partner for this groundbreaking project with BCAN. The data generated will provide significant utility to patients, treating clinicians and pharma through the combination of outcomes and tracking the extraordinary responders,” noted Robert J. Penny MD, PhD, CEO of Paradigm.

Hoosier Cancer Research Network Chief Scientific Officer Bert H. O’Neil, MD, said, “We are excited to work with BCAN on this important initiative that will provide a wealth of data to investigators and should result in some key insights about defining molecular targets in bladder cancer for novel therapies.”

BCAN will launch the BCGC initiative with a briefing on Capitol Hill on October 7, 2015 at 3:30 pm Eastern time. The briefing will highlight the program details and the need for increased funding for bladder cancer research. A recording of the briefing will be available at

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