PORTLAND -- The World s Richest Doctor and Providence Health have joined forces in what they are calling a first in the battle against cancer.
Their partnership will introduce technology to the masses that is able to map the entire DNA sequence of tumor cells.
What it will help us do is identify errors in that DNA that have led to the patient developing cancer. And we can take those errors and use it to select drugs that will work specifically on that patient s tumor, said Dr. Walter Urba, an oncologist and cancer researcher for Providence.
Urba says until now doctors could see a portion of the DNA sequence but there were blind spots.
Those should be eliminated by Providence Health s new DNA sequencing machine. The machine s data will be serviced by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Forbes says the Los Angeles-based doctor is worth $10 billion and will now lead cancer services for Providence Health s five-state system.
The new DNA analysis promises to allow doctors to see, for example, that a specific patient s breast cancer tumor has more in common with a lung cancer tumor and should be treated as such.
It guides us in selecting the most appropriate therapy for patients and it keeps us from using treatments that might have lots of toxicity and little benefit, said Providence s Dr. Walter Urba.
The new genomic network should be available for Portland-area patients by the end of the year.