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Study Will Help Detect the Earliest Signs of Cancer Recurrence

Strata Sentinel clinical trial offers custom-designed genomic monitoring

Cancer recurrence better medicine
“We hope to receive patient referrals from physicians throughout Lehigh Valley Health Network [LVHN], including Lehigh Valley Physician Group [LVPG] Hematology Oncology and LVPG Surgical Oncology,” says Morgan Horton, RN, Director, Oncology Research.

Patients at Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute will soon have access to an innovate clinical trial that will help advance the ability to detect cancer recurrence in its earliest stages and monitor treatment effectiveness.

The Strata Sentinel trial will enroll people with stage 1, 2 and 3 solid tumors who have completed or are planning to undergo curative surgery or definitive cancer therapy. Strata Oncology will use tumor and blood samples from these individuals to create a personalized genomic profile of the tumor tissue and design a StrataMRD (minimal residual disease) test targeting specific mutations. Individuals will then have blood draws every three months to search for circulating tumor DNA. This is the first time that the StrataMRD test will be used to monitor people who have had solid tumors. 

Referrals needed

“This is a new world of deep precision oncology,” says Suresh Nair, MD, Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute. Nair notes that the Cancer Institute will be only the second site in the U.S. to enroll people in the trial, which is expected to include 20,000 individuals who will be followed for up to five years.

“We hope to receive patient referrals from physicians throughout Lehigh Valley Health Network [LVHN], including Lehigh Valley Physician Group [LVPG] Hematology Oncology and LVPG Surgical Oncology,” says Morgan Horton, RN, Director, Oncology Research. She notes that almost every solid tumor type except for brain tumors may be included in the trial; the hope is to enroll at least 50 LVHN patients.

An ongoing partnership

The Sentinel trial is LVHN’s second collaboration with Strata Oncology, a genomic testing and precision medicine company based in Ann Arbor, Mich. To date, 711 people have signed consent for the initial Strata trial, with 672 people receiving results. Individuals enrolled in the Sentinel trial may benefit in several ways, whether or not they elect to know the results of their blood tests, and whether or not their cancer recurs. “Physicians tend to underestimate the risk for recurrence, but patients are more realistic,” Nair says.

“Being closely monitored with ongoing genomic testing may provide a lot of reassurance.” Depending on the results, physicians may choose to change imaging or treatment protocols. “In future trials, we may be able to get quantitative measures of the amount of circulating tumor DNA to see if it is increasing over time,” Nair says.

“Eventually, we hope to be able to map treatments to a patient’s specific tumor profile. This is a very ambitious project, and the Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is well poised to maximize its potential.”


Check the calendar

To refer an individual for a clinical trial, call 888-402-LVHN (5846). If you are a patient, call 888-402-LVHN to request an appointment.

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