Federal Agencies to Screen Vets, Soldier Lung Tumors to Hasten Clinical Trial Research

September 2, 2016

US soldiers and veterans will be at the forefront of a new nationwide integrated proteogenomic lung tumor screening program aimed at boosting enrollment in clinical trials and hastening the development of targeted anticancer therapies.

US soldiers and veterans will be at the forefront of a new nationwide integrated proteogenomic lung tumor screening program aimed at boosting enrollment in clinical trials and hastening the development of new, targeted anticancer therapies.

The US National Cancer Institute (NCI), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Defense (DoD) have announced a tri-agency Applied Proteogenomics Organizational Learning and Outcomes (APOLLO) Network consortium, as part of the federal government’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.

At its outset, the program will focus on patients with lung cancer. But in the future, additional cancer types will be added, according to a VA press release.  

Patients’ tumors will be screened for genomic and protein markers to identify available targeted anticancer treatments that might benefit patients, and to facilitate patient referrals to clinical trials.

“APOLLO will create a pipeline to move genetic discoveries from the lab to VA clinics,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald. “[W]e expect it will lead to real improvements in the lives of those affected by cancer.”

IBM’s Watson supercomputer will be used to analyze the resulting tumor proteogenomic data and will automate identification of available treatments or clinical trials that might be a good match for patients, based on their tumors’ molecular profiles. APOLLO data will also be made available to researchers via the NCI Genomic Data Commons.