Molecular Oncology Initiative
The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Molecular Oncology Initiative is a key component of UCSF’s Precision Medicine Initiative, and at its core is focused integrating genomic findings from molecular diagnostic tests with the ever increasing number of therapeutics being developed in translational research and clinical practice, to improve patient outcomes.
At the center of this effort is the Molecular Tumor Board, which brings together practicing oncologists, researchers studying cancer biology, pathologists, genetic counselors, and informatics experts into one room to share their knowledge on real-time cancer cases at UCSF Medical Center. To date, more than 500 patient cases have been reviewed by the board.
"We offer a singular and potentially helpful service to outside physicians through the molecular tumor board and UCSF500 testing. Referring physicians can present their cases at the MOI and get a multidisciplinary perspective with expertise available at only a very few centers nationwide,” says Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD, leader of the Cancer Center’s Molecular Oncology Initiative.
The UCSF Molecular Tumor Board takes advantage of its close collaboration with the UCSF Cancer Clinical Genomics Laboratory (CCGL), led by Boris Bastian, MD, PhD. His laboratory provides the UCSF500 gene panel assay, a cutting-edge sequencing test that, in contrast with commercial cancer gene panel tests, sequences tumor DNA and the patient’s germline (inherited) DNA. This unique component of the UCSF500 molecular diagnostic test enables identification of genetic changes (mutations) in the DNA of a patient’s cancer, which helps oncologists improve treatment by identifying targeted therapies, or appropriate clinical trials, or in some cases clarify the exact type of cancer a patient has.