Change Cancer Patients’ Lives, One Mile at a Time
The Empire State Ride is an incredible adventure across the state, but it’s more than just a ride — it’s a way for you to play a critical role in the fight against cancer, a disease that’s touched so many of our lives. The money you will raise will advance groundbreaking research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and help provide the most cutting-edge treatments to those who are battling.
Breakthroughs in genetics research have begun to change the way that cancer is being treated across the country, and Roswell Park’s Center for Personalized Medicine is a leading force in this new field. Think of personalized medicine as tailor-made therapy — the opposite of one-size-fits-all. This method is a lot different from the cancer treatments you normally hear about, like radiation and chemotherapy.
Traditionally, drugs like chemo have been prescribed for a patient based on the location of a patient’s tumor — in the breast, colon, or lungs, for example — and how far the cancer has progressed. But there’s a problem with that approach: the same drug, given to two different patients, might cause one person to go into remission while having no effect on the other person’s cancer. That’s because tumors are driven by individual genetic mutations, not just the organ in which they grow.
Using Genetics to Better Treat Cancer — and Why We Need Your Help
To better treat cancer and save more lives, Roswell Park scientists have been working to identify the gene mutations that cause cancer cells to grow out of control, and to develop targeted therapies that can block those abnormal genes.
As part of those efforts, the Center for Personalized Medicine has developed a one-of-a-kind test, OmniSeq Target™. This tool, originally developed for patients with lung cancer, examines the genes in a patient’s tumor to find genetic mutations that:
- Are known to cause cancer
- Can be targeted with a drug that is already available
With the use of this state-of-the-art tool, physicians are able to customize a patient’s drug therapy based on the tumor’s personal, unique genetic profile.
“Instead of having broad-based, standard chemotherapy treatments with an unpredictable response, we can say, ‘This is the targeted therapy for your specific gene alteration, and the responses are much stronger and last longer.’”
Because of donors’ generosity, scientists have been able to prove the test’s benefits, and OmniSeq Target™ is now covered by many health insurance plans. But support from individuals like you is still needed. Researchers are getting ready to launch the next generation of the product, called OmniSeq ComprehensiveSM, which will reach beyond late-stage lung cancer to address other disease sites, such as breast, colon and melanoma.
While OmniSeq ComprehensiveSM may lead to lifesaving therapies, insurance providers will not cover the cost of the test for other cancer at this time without clinical evidence of its success. That’s where you can step in to help. By raising money as an Empire State rider, you will provide critically needed funds to help all patients who could benefit from this test have access to it, and so that Roswell Park can collect the data that insurance providers are seeking to include the test in their coverage.
Each dollar you raise and mile you ride will have an immeasurable impact in the lives of these individuals. Start making a difference today.