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Saint Luke's News: Tempus testing platform gives cancer patients personalized treatment options

June 15, 2020
Stock image of DNA strand


Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute is one of only two medical facilities in the country to fully integrate the genomic testing platform for cancer research called Tempus with our patient electronic medical record. Tempus analyzes the DNA, RNA, and specific proteins of cancer cells to understand the patient’s disease at the molecular level so it can identify personalized treatment options designed to specifically target their unique cancer.

Physicians can order a Tempus test at the push of a button and send a tumor and/or blood sample to Tempus for genomic testing. The notes, reports, and images from Tempus are recorded in EPIC, an integrated electronic medical records platform used by Saint Luke’s. Through EPIC, oncologists can merge Tempus test results with the patient’s clinical record and review them in real-time in the same place where clinical decisions are made.

“The integration of EPIC and Tempus is a major advance in caring for patients with cancer,” said Dr. Janakiraman Subramanian, Director of Thoracic Oncology and Center for Precision Oncology at Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute. “Until now in most institutions across the country, cancer genomic testing is done outside of their EMR platform. Integrating Tempus with EPIC brings cancer genomic testing within the normal oncology clinical workflow. This ensures genomic testing is done with the appropriate patient, testing is not missed, and errors are avoided.”

Genomic testing with Tempus is an integral part of treating patients with advanced-stage cancer. It detects gene alterations in cancer cells so oncologists can study the behavior of this particular cancer. Every patient is different. Having accurate genomic testing results ensures that lifesaving cancer treatments, including clinical trials and therapeutic options, are available to patients who need it in a timely manner.

“Saint Luke’s is establishing the benchmark for other institutions to follow in the near future,” Dr. Subramanian said.

Learn more about Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute and Saint Luke’s Center for Precision Oncology, the region’s only precision oncology program for advanced cancers that’s staffed by clinical oncologists with expertise in genomic sequencing and computational biology.

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Janakiraman Subramanian, MD

Oncology / Hematology