Mayo Clinic collaborates with Personalis Inc. to expand cancer genomic testing

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Image of automated microplate pipetting

Mayo Clinic announced an agreement on Tuesday, Oct. 12 that will allow it to offer clinical-grade comprehensive cancer genomic sequencing to cancer patients who choose to participate. Test results will be available to patients and their treating health care providers to guide therapeutic decisions, advance cancer research, and support the development of new diagnostic tests and therapies for cancer treatment.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine are collaborating with Personalis Inc. (Nasdaq: PSNL), a cancer genomics company whose clinical-grade, comprehensive cancer genomic test includes sequencing the entire coding genome through whole-exome and transcriptome sequencing. The test will provide a clinical report for each patient and comprehensive aggregated data that Mayo Clinic and Personalis will use to further develop this comprehensive diagnostic approach.

"Our goal for this relationship is to assure cancer patients from across the world get the most comprehensive genomic testing at Mayo Clinic," says William Morice II, M.D, Ph.D., chair of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. "We're committed to making this test available to diverse patient populations who haven't yet had access to this type of testing."

"We believe the use of aggregated and de-identified genomic sequencing data will improve both patient care and patient access to care," says Konstantinos Lazaridis, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine. Dr. Lazaridis says the consortium will make it possible to offer individual patients a clinical benefit in their treatment and the ability to contribute data in the aggregate that may lead to the development of new and improved treatments and systems that will benefit all patients.

"Developing individualized treatment plans for each patient based on their unique spectrum of cancer-promoting mutations is critical to our mission to provide the most advanced cancer care," says Cheryl Willman, M.D., executive director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Programs and director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "As we advance the Human Cancer Genome Project to more diverse and understudied populations, it is particularly important to use comprehensive sequencing methods to uncover all possible mutations.”

Dr. Willman says that collaborations with groups such as Personalis provide health care providers with access to molecular data that may offer new insights into the causes of particular cancers and also may help researchers develop more effective, personalized treatments. "Our goal is to develop our capacity for 'precision prevention' that will help us detect and treat cancers earlier in all populations," says Dr. Willman.

"We are honored to work with Mayo Clinic to increase access to advanced cancer testing," says Richard Chen, M.D., chief medical officer of Personalis. "Rapid advances in our understanding of cancer and the development of new cancer therapies are driving the need for more comprehensive testing platforms."

A version of this article was originally published as a news release on the Mayo Clinic News Network.