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St. Francis Health, St. Vincent Health, and Community Health Network join Cancer Genome Atlas Project; Three Indianapolis hospitals among only 14 sites in nation to participate in IGC’s network

For release on January 10, 2012

Indianapolis (January 10, 2012)--Franciscan St. Francis Health, St. Vincent Health, and Community Health Network announced today their collaboration with The International Genomics Consortium (IGC) in Phoenix to serve as a critical network Tissue Source Site (TSS) to provide cancer tissue samples for analysis in the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) historic project, The Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA).

St. Francis, St. Vincent Health, and Community Health Network will provide cancer tissue samples under uniform and standardized conditions and also collect specific long-term clinical outcome data to facilitate research into the underlying cancer mechanisms.

IGC’s Expression Project for Oncology (expO) has combined its network and mission with TCGA to help create a comprehensive and coordinated effort to accelerate the understanding of the molecular basis of cancer through the application of genome analysis technologies, including large-scale genome sequencing.

The overarching goal of TCGA is to improve our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer. TCGA is one of the largest initiatives to date to analyze such a wide array of cancers with so many different genomic analyses ranging from sequencing to methylation studies.

The genomic blueprints of each cancer will be available on the web for all scientists to have access to for translational discoveries. TCGA plans to analyze 500 tumors from each cancer type studied by the program and will provide the clinically annotated outcome data along with the complete genomic analysis on the web free of any intellectual property restrictions.

IGC plans to retain a portion of each sample that it provides to TCGA, if available, to expedite translational discoveries to help patient care, in work separate from TCGA.

“We look forward to supporting The Cancer Genome Atlas project and other initiatives at IGC through our research efforts here Franciscan St. Francis Health and continuing not only to provide world-class patient care, but also facilitating ground-breaking cancer research,” said Dr. Christopher Doehring, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

“Community Health Network and St. Vincent Cancer Care are committed to bringing comprehensive, cutting-edge cancer care through a multi-disciplinary approach –including The Cancer Genome Atlas project - providing cancer tissue samples for research,” said Dr. Jeff Mossler, Principal Investigator at Community Health Network and St. Vincent. “By providing these samples, Community Health Network and St. Vincent are doing its part to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer."

“We are honored to partner with St. Francis, St. Vincent Health, and Community Health Network on this historic NCI initiative to join in the fight against cancer,” said Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D., IGC’s CEO and Principal Investigator for both the TSS and Biospecimen Core Resource components of TCGA.

David Mallery, J.D., M.B.A., IGC’s President noted that “Together with St. Francis, St. Vincent Health, and Community Health Network, we look forward to providing the critical biospecimens and data necessary to facilitate translational research.”

IGC thanks the National Cancer Institute, the National Human Genome Research Institute, Maricopa County, the City of Phoenix, Science Foundation Arizona, the Flinn Foundation as well as many of the pharmaceutical companies that have provided financial and leadership support to IGC.

About Franciscan St. Francis Health
With three hospitals in south-central Indiana, Franciscan St. Francis Health is a member of the Franciscan Alliance, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest with 14 growing hospitals and a number of nationally recognized Centers of Health Care Excellence. Franciscan Alliance serves a geographic area with a population of 3.7 million people, provides care for more than 2.9 million outpatient visits and completes more than 100,000 inpatient discharges every year. For more information, go to www.FranciscanAlliance.org.

St. Vincent Hospitals and Health Services
Driven by the faith of four Daughters of Charity who arrived in Indianapolis in 1881 with $34.77 in their pockets, the St. Vincent Hospital mission is to treat the poor and sick by following our Core Values of Service of the Poor, Reverence, Integrity, Wisdom, Creativity and Dedication.  Our healthcare ministry has grown to include seven Centers of Excellence: Women's, Children's, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, Neuroscience, Cancer Care and Bariatrics. The ageless mission of St. Vincent remains unchanged: to minister to the minds, bodies and spirits of those in need.

About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in access to innovative and compassionate healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, in convenient health pavilions and doctor’s offices, in the workplace, at schools, in the home and online. As a non-profit health system with multiple sites of care and affiliates throughout Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, acute care and specialty hospitals, surgery centers, physician offices, home care services, walk-in care centers and employer health services. To put the needs and the convenience of patients first, Community pioneers advanced treatments and world-class health information technologies, with a focus on ease of access to exceptional care.

About IGC
The International Genomics Consortium (IGC) is a non-profit medical research organization established to expand upon the discoveries of the Human Genome Project and other systematic sequencing efforts by combining world-class genomic research, bioinformatics, and diagnostic technologies in the fight against cancer and other complex genetic diseases. IGC serves numerous common, unmet needs including: the standardization of the collection of properly consented tissues of interest, the molecular characterization of these tissues, and standardization in the representation and analysis of these results. IGC participates in the translation of genomic discoveries to improve patient care and increase the speed in which new diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive testing, and their associated new drug and treatment regimens are developed. For more information, visit www.intgen.org.

Joe Stuteville
Media Relations
Franciscan St. Francis Health
317-782-7986, office
317-946-9930, cell

Jen Dial
Public Relations
St. Vincent Health
317-583-4031, office
317-407-8436, cell

Lynda de Widt
PR and Media Relations Director
Community Health Network
317-621-3636, office 

Rachael Myer
International Genomics Consortium
602-850-7041, office
480-560-3255, cell 


Lynda de Widt, Media Relations
Lynda de Widt
Media Relations